THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Pierce County, Wash., man is suing the makers of vape pods and vape pens claiming the products left him wheezing, breathless, and hospitalized earlier this month.
The Herrmann Law Group, which has an office in Seattle’s Chinatown International-District, filed the lawsuit on Sept. 23 in Pierce County Superior Court—alleging defects in the products caused lung injuries to Charles Wilcoxen.
Wilcoxen, a Puyallup tribal police officer, said he started vaping about 18 months ago to ease back pain, stress and to help him sleep. He said marijuana-laced pods gave him lipoid pneumonia. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital on Sept. 11 when the wheezing became especially severe. After tests, doctors gave him the diagnosis.
Recently, there has been a surge of injuries reported from vaping, including lung issues, seizures, and other serious health problems. At least seven people have died. The Centers for Disease Control announced more than 500 cases of severe respiratory injuries from vaping marijuana or nicotine.
Prior to his injury from vaping, Wilcoxen was active, fit, and healthy. He served 17 years in the United States Army, including Special Forces.
“My hope is that manufacturers of legal vaping cartridges and devices can be held accountable for their products,” said Wilcoxen. “With proper oversight and more stringent guidelines, I believe their products will be safer.”