NJ teens hooked on vaping are suing Juul & other e-cig companies
Where there's vape "smoke," there's federal lawsuits after several New Jersey teenagers who claim unwitting addiction are suing e-cigarette makers, including Juul Labs.
The lawsuits predate President Donald Trump this week suggesting that federal regulators could take action on flavored vaping products. On Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy established a task force to investigate vaping health concerns and make recommendations on laws and regulations.
Among cases filed recently is one from 18-year-old Matthew Divello, of Medford, who says "pervasive social media marketing of the popular device led to his nicotine addiction, hospitalization and serious health problems," according to a news release from Lanier Law Firm.
Another two lawsuits were filed by 19-year-old and 20-year-old Juul users in New Jersey, both represented by attorney Domenic Sanginiti.
Divello said he began using Juul in early 2017, while a high school junior. At the time, the lawsuit says, there were no warnings about nicotine or the risks of nicotine addiction on the product's packaging.
Over an 18-month-span, Divello says he suffered behavioral and cognitive problems, declining academic status, and also was hospitalized in August for three days.
There also are lawsuits filed by two different parents, alongside their teens, who both began vaping at the age of 14.
As reported by NJ.com, the mother of a now 16-year-old son said in their suit that his nicotine addiction has caused “severe and permanent personal injuries, pain, suffering and emotional distress."
The second parent-teen duo to sue Juul, while also naming Philip Morris and Altria, are lead plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit, as reported separately by NJ.com.
According to the law firm Javerbaum & Wurgaft, that complaint says Juul "falsely claimed that its products are safer than conventional cigarettes," while also specifically targeting minors and failing to inform users that its products contain a "more potent dose of nicotine than conventional cigarettes."
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