wrongful death lawsuit against JUUL or vaping manufacturer

There’s still a lot that we don’t know about vaping. However, we do know that vaping is dangerous and potentially fatal.

In August 2019, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported the death of an individual who experienced severe respiratory illness after vaping. Similarly, families around the country are mourning the losses of their children after vaping deaths.

In October 2019, the first JUUL-related wrongful death case was filed in federal court by the family of Daniel Wakefield. Daniel was allegedly addicted to JUUL vaping products from 2015 until he died in 2018. Before his death, Daniel reportedly suffered from mood swings and breathing issues related to JUULing. On August 30, 2018, he was found dead at his father’s home. The cause of death was breathing complications. Daniel was 18 years old.

Could You Have a Wrongful Death Case in Illinois?

If your child died from vaping complications, then you may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against JUUL or another vaping manufacturer.

According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, the personal representative of your child’s estate has the right to bring a wrongful death case if your child would have had a personal injury case had he lived. In most cases, the personal representative has two years to file a wrongful death case.

A wrongful death case officially begins when the personal representative files a complaint in court. To recover damages, the estate must prove the following:

  • The defendant owed your child a duty of care. Product manufacturers, such as JUUL Labs, has a responsibility to make sure its products are safe.
  • The defendant breached the duty of care. If the product manufacturer failed to put out a reasonably safe product or warn of known safety risks, then the manufacturer may have breached the duty of care.
  • Your child died as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Your child’s death must have been caused by the defendant’s breach of the duty of care.
  • You are entitled to damages. There must be a financial loss for there to be a successful lawsuit.

Convincing evidence and compelling legal arguments are necessary to prove each element of a wrongful death case.

Illinois Wrongful Death Damages

We know that no amount of money will ever compensate your family for your child’s death. However, wrongful death damages can compensate you for financial losses and hold the defendant accountable for what happened.

Specifically, you may recover:

  • Medical costs. Any healthcare costs your child had because of JUULing injuries should be part of the recovery. This includes, but is not limited to, doctors’ visits, hospitalizations, and breathing treatments.
  • Lost income. Any income that your child could not earn and will not earn may be part of the financial damages awarded in a lawsuit.
  • Out-of-pocket costs. Funeral costs and other expenses that your family had because of your child’s death or illness can be compensated in a lawsuit.
  • Physical pain. Any physical pain that your child suffered from JUULing should be part of your wrongful death recovery.
  • Emotional suffering. Your child’s emotional suffering and the sorrow and emotional suffering of your child’s close relatives are compensable.

Some of these damages can be difficult to value since no bill or receipt shows just how much your child or your family has suffered. However, an experienced Illinois wrongful death lawyer can present the right evidence and arguments to prove the actual value of your loss.

Contact an Illinois Wrongful Death Lawyer to Learn More

You have suffered an unbelievable loss. The legal process of a wrongful death case can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and frustrating. You deserve to make a fair recovery without the added day-to-day stress of handling a wrongful death claim.

Instead, we encourage you to contact our experienced Illinois wrongful death lawyers for a free consultation about your rights. We can make sure that your family’s rights are protected and remove the stress of a lawsuit from your shoulders. Call us today or start a live chat with us at any time to learn more.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham