A product liability lawsuit has been filed in Washington state court against several manufacturers of THC vape cartridges. The case, Charles Wilcoxson v. Canna Brand Solutions LLC et al., was filed on September 23, 2019, in the Superior Court of Pierce County, Washington, according to a posting on lexology.com.
The complaint alleges that the plaintiff, a 44-year-old police officer and former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, had consumed various THC vape products between January 2018 and September 2019. He purchased several cannabis brands, including Conscious Cannabis, Rainbows Aloft, Leafwerx, MFused and Jane’s Garden, all of which are named as defendants. Also included as a defendant is Canna Brand Solutions, the distributor of plaintiff’s vaporizer device (called a “pen” or “battery”), which was manufactured by C-Cell, a Chinese corporation, according to the post.
According to the complaint, plaintiff vaped on September 11, 2019, and woke up with severe wheezing that night. He continued to have difficulties through the weekend and on Monday morning presented at the emergency room. Plaintiff was diagnosed with lipoid pneumonia caused by vaping.
A pathology report noted “numerous lipid laden macrophages” on his lungs, “reactive endobronchial cells” and disease-fighting cells called eosinophils that are seen in reactive airway disease. Plaintiff spent three days in the hospital before being discharged home and allowed to return to work on light duty with the police department.
The complaint states that “since the injury, plaintiff has been unable to run, work full-time or participate in physical activities with his young daughter,” and that “the full extent of the injuries caused by defendants’ products is not yet known,” according to the post.
The complaint asserts causes of action for strict liability and negligence against the various defendants. It is alleged that the vape cartridges were not reasonably safe and were not fit for human consumption “as a result of being flooded with particles.” The plaintiff similarly alleged that the vaporizer pen was defectively designed and that the distributor “knew or should have known that the product was not safe for human consumption,” according to the post.
It is further alleged that the defendants are jointly and severally liable for the entire damages suffered by the plaintiff due to their alleged status as successive tortfeasors. This strategy of alleging joint-and-several liability is often seen in tobacco, asbestos and other “toxic tort” litigation, where the plaintiff sues all potential defendants and attempts to shift the burden to those defendants to disprove that each is partially responsible for the injuries alleged.
Here, plaintiff may be using the joint-and-several liability strategy due to the fact that establishing medical causation against any specific vape manufacturer may prove difficult in the absence of reliable scientific evidence of what is causing these illnesses, according to the post.
Category: Breaking News
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