Brendan H. Fitzpatrick and Jessica P. Butkera, partners in the firm’s Toxic Tort practice, discuss the sudden outburst of mysterious illnesses arising over the past few months that appear directly connected to e-cigarettes and vaping.
In “Outbreak of Severe Pulmonary Disease Linked to E-Cigarette Use: The Makings of a Mass Tort?” Brendan and Jessica explore the early indications that the use of e-cigarettes and vape pens may cause lung injury including acute, severe respiratory distress, respiratory failure, and even death. They also talk about how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and private research institutions are investigating, but have not yet identified any specific e-cigarette product or substance linked to all of the cases.
“As of September 11, 2019, 380 cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products have been reported to the CDC from across nearly three dozen states,” Brendan and Jessica write. “While 380 cases out of millions of users are rather insignificant statistically, six deaths confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon and other severe medical problems are amplifying concern.”
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Brendan H. Fitzpatrick, a leader in the firm’s Toxic Tort and Environmental Law practices and co-chair of the ABA’s Environmental and Toxic Tort Subcommittee of the Mass Torts Committee, litigates complex civil matters in federal and state trial courts across the country. His practice focuses primarily on toxic tort and environmental litigation, but he also litigates and advises clients on commercial, intellectual property, and cybersecurity concerns.
Jessica P. Butkera is an experienced trial attorney who focuses her practice on general liability, product liability and toxic tort matters. She represents a wide range of clients across various industries including property management, hospitality, retail, amusement parks, stadiums, construction, automobile, and trucking. Jessica litigates complex lawsuits in the state and federal courtrooms of Maryland and the District of Columbia, offering clients the myriad benefits associated with her broad perspective and numerous bench and jury trial accomplishments.