EVALIE-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury


TorHoerman Law Files EVALI Lawsuit on Behalf of Georgia Man 

April 21, 2020 - TorHoerman Law has filed an EVALI lawsuit against Juul on behalf of a Georgia man who was left in comatose and relied on a ventilator to breathe as a result of injuries relating to vaping. The EVALI lawsuit is seeking compensation for permanent and life-impacting lung injuries that the plaintiff suffered.

The plaintiff, Jay Patel, was an active individual prior to his EVALI injury - he was a soccer player and a distance runner. The expectedly healthy Patel one day collapsed and fell into a coma without any prior signs of potential health issues. Patel was taken to the ICU where doctors diagnosed him with EVALI, a serious lung disease believed to be caused by using nicotine vape products, particularly Juul.

Patel has since filed an EVALI lawsuit against Juul Labs, the manufacturer of Juul. Juul Labs faces Juul lawsuits nationwide, with claims ranging from false advertising, advertising to underage demographics, false safety claims, and EVALI claims.

There have been 42 cases of EVALI in Georgia and 6 deaths from the disease. Men have been showing up in the hospital more often than women. Patel and others with EVALI claim to have no history with illegal THC vapes, a source of serious lung injuries discovered last year.

Georgia is now the 40th state to be investigating Juul Labs, the company that has dominated the vaping market.

The rise of vaping, which the FDA has classified an “epidemic,” has resulted in increasing numbers of these EVALI cases. Teens are reportedly vaping at alarming rates, though the effects of nicotine vapes still are not clear. At 38 years of age, Jay Patel represents the danger of using new nicotine technology such as Juul.

TorHoerman Law is teamed up with Turnball, Cain & Holcomb, LLC, an Atlanta-based plaintiff's law firm.

As researchers develop a more well-rounded understanding of the dangers of vaping and e-cigarette use, we are beginning to learn more about the risks associated with these smoking devices. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a vaping product, you may be entitled to participate in an EVALI lawsuit. Contact an experienced EVALI lawyer from TorHoerman Law to discuss your legal options today.



E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI)

Doctors and researchers across the United States have been working to understand a new series of illnesses known as EVALI, e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury; searching for the answer to the growing question, “what is the cause of vaping lung?“. The lung injury, previously known as VAPI (vaping associated pulmonary illness), describes a number of related severe lung illnesses tied to vape and e-cigarette products. Healthcare professionals are still learning about the disease, and best practices for diagnosis, treatment, and terminology are still being determined. Read on to learn more about EVALI and e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury cases.



What does EVALI stand for?

EVALI is an acronym for E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury.

E: E-cigarette

V: Vaping Product

A: Associated

L: Lung

I: Injury



What is E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI)?

E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) is a dangerous, sometimes-fatal lung illness that began to sweep across the country in the latter half of 2019. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first recognized EVALI in August of 2019 after healthcare professionals across the U.S. reported increased cases of patients with severe lung infections. Patients were hospitalized for symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and fever. As cases increased and more details emerged, researchers and doctors learned that all patients shared something in common: they all reported recently using vaping or e-cigarette products.




Risks Factors For E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury

According to the CDC, the key risk factor for EVALI is the use of a vape, e-cigarette, or similar product. Anyone who has vaped in the last 90 days could be at risk, particularly if the vape/e-cigarette product contained THC or vitamin E acetate. EVALI can affect any e-cigarette/vape device user, but the majority of cases have been young people and young adults. The average EVALI patient’s age is 24 years old.




Products Associated with EVALI

The majority of products that EVALI patients reported using contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or vitamin E acetate. It is possible that other additives contribute to EVALI including nicotine, coconut oil, cannabinoid (CBD) oils, or limonene. The CDC notes that additional research needs to be done to determine if a specific mechanism and causal link can be established.



THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and EVALI

THC is the psychoactive, mind-altering compound in marijuana that is responsible for giving users a high. The majority of EVALI patients (75 to 80 percent) reported using e-cigarette products that contain THC. According to the CDC, most patients acquired these products through informal sources such as illicit in-person and online dealers, friends, and family.



Vitamin E Acetate and EVALI

Vitamin E acetate is a synthetic form of vitamin E found in some e-cigarette / vaping products. In a large-scale study funded by the National Cancer Institute, vitamin E acetate was identified in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) of 94 percent of EVALI patients. Zero percent of healthy individuals in the study, half of who were smokers or e-cigarette users, had vitamin E acetate in their BAL.



Nicotine and EVALI

Nicotine is a stimulant and the main psychoactive ingredient in tobacco products. Approximately 13 to 58 percent of EVALI patients reported using nicotine-containing products 90 days prior to their symptoms. However, nicotine has been found in BAL samples in asymptomatic individuals in many studies.




What are the symptoms of EVALI?

EVALI can be hard to diagnose because symptoms mirror other common respiratory illnesses. EVALI patients report respiratory, gastrointestinal, and constitutional symptoms. Similar symptoms are reported with illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and even the flu, making it difficult to specifically diagnose EVALI.



EVALI Respiratory Symptoms

EVALI respiratory symptoms include:

  • rapid and shallow breathing (tachypnea)
  • cough
  • chest pain and tightness
  • hemoptysis



EVALI Gastrointestinal Symptoms

EVALI gastrointestinal symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain



Other Common EVALI Symptoms

Other common EVALI symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • weight loss



Diagnosing EVALI – Do I have EVALI?

If you vape and/or use e-cigarettes and have EVALI symptoms, see a doctor right away. Some EVALI patients report that symptoms took several weeks to appear while others reported symptoms showing within days. A medical professional will be able to evaluate if you have EVALI or other illnesses such as bacterial or viral pneumonia. They might conduct a chest CT scan or X-ray to look for lung opacities (hazy-looking) spots.




How to Treat EVALI

EVALI treatment depends on the severity of a patients’ illness. EVALI is a new condition, and doctors and researchers do not have access to long-term studies on treatment effectiveness. Primary EVALI medication treatments include:

Corticosteroids: A medication used to reduce lung inflammation.

Antibiotics: Antibiotics kill or limit the spread of bacteria. Antibiotics are typically given while waiting for test results to determine if a patient has EVALI or bacterial infection.

Antivirals: EVALI symptoms mirror many viral infections, so providers might give patients drugs designed to fight viruses.

Glucocorticoids: Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid hormones. The steroid reduces lung inflammation and has been used in a majority of EVALI treatments. However, the treatment’s efficacy is still unknown.

Patients who are unable to breathe or severely ill require additional treatment. Some patients are placed on ventilators while patients with less severe symptoms might still require supplemental oxygen.



Injuries Associated with EVALI

EVALI reflects a spectrum of lung diseases, rather than a single process or injury. According to Medline, EVALI appears as an acute lung injury with similarities to acute pneumonitis, organizing pneumonia (often accompanied by bronchiolitis), or diffused alveolar damage. Individual reports of EVALI have described acute eosinophilic pneumonia, diffuse alveolar hemorrhaging, lipoid pneumonia, and respiratory-bronchiolitis interstitial lung disease.

EVALI respiratory injuries include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, hemoptysis, and pleuritic chest pain. EVALI is a serious respiratory illness, and eventual progression to respiratory failure is common. As of January 21, 2020, there have been 60 deaths tied to EVALI respiratory failures. Other commonly reported injuries/symptoms include tachycardia, tachypnea, and hypoxemia.



EVALI Injuries and Qualification For EVALI Lawsuit

Nationwide, patients and attorneys are holding an e-cigarette and vaping companies accountable for product use-associated lung injuries. Juul and E-Cigarette lawyers are working with a large number of patients suffering from EVALI. EVALI lawsuits cover injuries can include, but are not limited to:

  • Respiratory disease illness/damage
  • Pneumonitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Alveolar damage/hemorrhaging
  • Lung disease
  • Respiratory damage/failure
  • Tachycardia
  • Tachypnea
  • Hypoxemia



Do I Qualify for an EVALI Lawsuit?

If you used a vape or e-cigarette and developed any EVALI symptoms or EVALI injuries, you could be eligible for an EVALI lawsuit. ToerHoerman is filing EVALI lawsuits on behalf of patients who suffered from an e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injuries. If you or a loved one developed symptoms, illnesses, or injuries after using an e-cigarette or vaporizer, contact an EVALI lawyer at TorHoerman today for legal advice and a free consultation.



Can I File an EVALI Lawsuit If My Products Were Purchased Illegally?

It is unlikely that you will be able to file an EVALI lawsuit if your products are illegal, were illegal at the time of purchase, or purchased on the illegal market.



Filing an EVALI Lawsuit

If you are considering filing an EVALI lawsuit, there are steps that you can take to prepare for your case. Your EVALI lawyer will work with you through these steps, but it is best to be informed and to begin collecting information as soon as possible. These are the steps to filing an EVALI lawsuit:

The first and most important step is to stop using your e-cigarette and vaping products. If you have suffered from EVALI, you should try to mitigate your injuries. One of the best ways to mitigate injury is to stop using e-cigarette or vaping products. We understand that these products are highly addictive and that some people use them to help with smoking cessation. If stopping e-cigarette or vape use will cause serious mental or physical stress, work with a medical professional to explore a plan to quit. In the meantime, find safer alternatives and only purchase and use products that are licensed and commercially prepared.

After you have mitigated your future risks, you should familiarize yourself with the steps of civil litigation, so that you are aware of what your EVAIL lawsuit will entail.

The next step after stopping or decreasing your vape and/or e-cigarette use is to start gathering evidence. In an EVALI lawsuit, some of the best evidence you can give your EVALI attorney shows how often you used e-cigarette and vape products and how they caused your injuries. Evidence you should collect includes:

  • Receipts and/or billing records showing your previous e-cigarette or vaping product purchases
  • Photos or video of you previously using e-cigarette or vaping products
  • Medical records associated with e-cigarette or vaping products
  • Personal accounts and records regarding your e-cigarette or vaping product
    use and injuries*

    • * Keep a journal detailing the history of your e-cigarette or vaping product

use, the progression of your injuries, medical records and communication with healthcare professionals, and any other relevant information regarding your case.

After you begin gathering evidence, the next step is to assess damages. Patients involved in EVALI lawsuits are often able to claim both compensatory and punitive damages. EVALI lawsuit damages can include:

  • Tangible costs associated with injuries (ex: medical bills)
  • Non-tangible injury costs (ex: pain and suffering)

Your EVALI lawyer will fight for you so you receive compensation for the true costs of your injuries by making a demand for your damages. You will file your EVALI lawsuit against the party that holds liability for your losses – in this case, the manufacturer.



Hiring an EVALI Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered from an e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, you deserve compensation. Find a successful law firm and personal injury attorney who is experienced with e-cigarette and vaping product lawsuits. They will help you navigate the legal system to build the best case possible.

Your state’s statute of limitations bars the time that you have to file and EVALI lawsuit after first discovering that you suffer from EVALI, so you should not hesitate to take the initial steps and contact an EVALI lawyer right away.



TorHoerman Law – Your E-Cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury Lawyer

TorHoerman Law has an experienced team of e-cigarette and vaping product attorneys. We’ve helped patients and their families across the country take on Juul and other major e-cigarette manufacturers. If you suffered from an e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, you don’t have to fight alone. We will work with you to navigate the legal system and build the strongest EVALI lawsuit possible. We also offer free, zero-obligation EVALI case consultations for all of our clients, and we work on contingency fees. Contact an EVALI Lawyer at TorHoerman today to talk about your potential EVALI lawsuit free of charge.

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Cohen, Marisa. “Do I Have Vaping Disease?” WebMD, WebMD, 31 Dec. 2019, www.webmd.com/lung/features/vaping-illness-symptoms#1.

“E-Cigarette or Vaping Product Use Associated Lung Injury (EVALI).” UpToDate, www.uptodate.com/contents/e-cigarette-or-vaping-product-use-associated-lung-injury-evali#H2404093233.

“E-Cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI).” Yale Medicine,“Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Products.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 Feb. 2020, www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html.

Eldridge, Ellen. “Georgia Man Sues Juul After Lung Disease EVALI Put Him On Ventilator.” Georgia Public Broadcasting, 1 May 2020, www.gpbnews.org/post/georgia-man-sues-juul-after-lung-disease-evali-put-him-ventilator.

Last Modified: May 28th, 2020 @ 11:27 am