Important Information for Illinois Families About Vaping-Related Deaths

Vaping-related deaths in Illinois are not hypothetical.

In August 2019, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported the first confirmed vaping-related death in the state. The individual’s cause of death was complications of a respiratory illness caused by vaping.

By December 2019, the New York Times reported five vaping-related deaths in Illinois.

For the loved ones of these individuals and others who may have died since then, the impact of vaping fatalities is tragic and real.

What You Need to Prove in a Vaping Wrongful Death Case

Before you can recover damages in an Illinois wrongful death case, including a JUUL-related wrongful death case, you must prove:

  • The defendant owed your loved one a duty of care. Companies, such as JUUL Labs, have a duty to put a reasonably safe product on the market, to warn potential users of risks that are known or should be known, and to be honest in their marketing to teens and adults.
  • The defendant breached the duty of care. A company breaches its duty of care when it fails to act like other similar companies would reasonably act in similar circumstances.
  • The defendant’s breach of the duty of care caused your loved one’s death. The company’s actions or inactions must have caused your loved one’s death, which would not have happened but for the company’s negligence.
  • You have the legal right to bring a case. According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Statute, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate has the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit if the person who died would have had a personal injury case had that person survived his injuries.

You will need strong evidence and convincing legal arguments to prove each element of your case and the value of your damages.

Wrongful Death Damages

Possible compensation in a wrongful death case includes past and future:

  • Medical costs. Any healthcare costs that your loved one had before death because of the JUUL-related illness should be included in your damages
  • Lost income. Any wages, benefits, or income from self-employment that your loved one was unable to earn from the time of diagnosis until the anticipated time of retirement should be part of the compensation in a wrongful death case.
  • Pain and suffering. The physical pain that your loved one suffered because of a JUUL-related illness, your loved one’s emotional suffering, and your family’s emotional pain may all be part of a wrongful death recovery.
  • Other damages. Your loved one’s funeral and burial costs, costs you incur because your loved one is no longer able to help around the house, and other costs may be part of your recovery.

While it is the personal representative of the estate who files a wrongful death case, any damages recovered in a wrongful death case are typically for the surviving spouse, next of kin, or estate.

How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You

You are grieving. You are adjusting to life without your loved one’s companionship, advice, love, and possibly income. You may want to bring a wrongful death case both for the possible financial recovery and to hold JUUL Labs, or another e-cigarette company responsible for your loved one’s death. Still, you don’t want to manage the day to day aspects of a wrongful death case on your own.

Our experienced and compassionate Illinois wrongful death lawyers understand. Like you, we want to see justice done. We will handle all aspects of your case for you so that you can concentrate on your family during this difficult time.

Additionally, you do not need to worry about the cost of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. We always offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation, and, if you decide to hire us, then you will not owe us any legal fees unless your case is successful.

The statute of limitations limits the amount of time that you have to file a wrongful death case. In Illinois, the wrongful death statute of limitations is just two years, and you should not wait that long to seek justice. The sooner you begin your case, the more evidence may be available, and the sooner you may recover damages.

To learn more about how we can help you, please call us or fill out our online contact form today. We also invite you to download a free copy of our report, Juul: What You Need to Know About It, to learn more about cases against JUUL.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham