LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala - More than 3.6 million teens across the country are vaping according to the US Food And Drug Administration. An Alabama man has filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturer, Juul. He hopes this lawsuit could benefit families across the state by holding the company accountable.
The suit alleges using Juul e-cigarettes caused a teen to quickly become severely addicted to nicotine. This claim is the basis of a lawsuit filed against tobacco giant in Limestone County.
"It's a brain injury. If you get addicted to nicotine at a young age it literally rewires the way that your brain works," said Joseph VanZandt, attorney for the plaintiff.
VanZandt represents Brian Bentley, who says his teenage son is suffering from nicotine addiction. VanZandt says the family wants to stop this from happening to another child.
"To get them to change their behavior and fix all the wrongs that they've to cause. Again, not just for Mr. Bentley, but to millions of young people around the country," VanZandt said.
Court documents state the 17-year-old first tried Juul when it was offered to him from friends at his high school where it was rampant. The lawsuit claims Juul directly marketed to young people using social media and did not disclose the dangers of the product.
"I'm extremely concerned with Juul's marketing tactics," said Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois).
The nation's lawmakers share these same concerns. Congress has launched an investigation into Juul's role into the teen vaping epidemic. Last week a group of lawmakers interviewed the company's co-founder.
"2/3 of Americans between the ages 15-24 do not know that e-cigarettes even contain nicotine instead they think it only contains flavors," Krishnamoorthi said.
The numbers appear to speak for themselves. The CDC reports teen vaping increased by 78% between 2017 to 2018.
The complaint filed in Limestone County circuit court asks for the plaintiff to be awarded money for damages and requests that amount be determined at a trial.
A hearing date has not been set yet.