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Making A Diek Of Yourself

Following a Californian announcing his intention to sue a vendor last year comes the news that another Californian is taking on Blu electronic cigarettes.

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The United States is home to the legal stories that make you sit, staring at the screen, wondering if the common sense mine has run out of ore. Following a Californian announcing his intention to sue a vendor last year comes the news that another Californian is taking on Blu electronic cigarettes.

We reported back in September 2104 that Joseph Sheppard planned to sue Fumizer LLC, maintaining that the company made false claims regarding ecigs and quitting. At best it was a flippant attempt to extort money from a small vendor without the means to mount a full-scale legal defence.

There are precedents: A woman was so taken aback by a poster advertising the Dexter television series she claims she fell down the stairs at a train station. Then there’s the man who tried to grab $10 million from ESPN because they showed him asleep during a baseball match...this was “intentional infliction of emotional distress”, apparently. How about the “mental anguish” caused to the bloke at McDonalds when staff only gave him one napkin? That’s worth a $1,500,000 claim. Of course, McDonalds are responsible for the obese man who believes fast food restaurants are at fault for his weight. And, not forgetting the woman who is after $250,000,000 from the Walt Disney Corp because, get this, they stole the story of her life to make the film ‘Frozen’!

So welcome the man with the marvellously easy to mispronounce name: Larry Diek. In a 50 page lawsuit filed with the Orange County Superior Court, leisure lawsuit Larry says: “Lorillard Tobacco Company falsely advertises its Blu brand of electronic cigarettes as ‘safer’ and ‘healthier’ than standard smokes when they're not.”

Totally misunderstanding the concepts of “Safer”, “Healthier” and a “Smarter alternative to traditional cigarettes”, Diek says that the cigalikes contain “a concoction of chemicals toxic to human cells.”

Larry isn’t alone in not getting what harm reduction is about. Brian Chase, his lawyer, said that Blu ecigs are “not harmless”. “Objective studies show that e-cigs contain disease-causing substances, carcinogens, and other impurities, some of which are found in traditional tobacco cigarettes,” he added, “that goes for the vapour as well. People think that it's just vapour, or that it's just harmless vapour, but its not.”

But hang on – who is claiming that vaping is safe? Blu, quoted in the complaint and earlier in this article simply say that their products are “Safer”, “Healthier” and a “Smarter alternative to traditional cigarettes”. There’s nothing about vaping being safe because no one believes it is; no company, no vendor and no intelligent vaper says this.

The legal eagle doesn’t have the sharpest of vision when he goes on to state that Blu is nothing more than “bubble gum and cotton candy flavoured e-cigs aimed at young kids.” Blu neither sell bubble gum nor cotton candy flavours.

The group Diek heads seek to stop Blu advertising their products as safe. Well, job done on that score, he should be cock-a-hoop. They are also seeking refunds, damages for some perceived unfair competition, deceptive advertising and whatever they think “express warranty” means.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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