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At Least 667 JUUL Lawsuits Pending in Federal Multidistrict Litigation

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson
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A growing number of product liability lawsuits continue to be filed throughout the federal court system over nicotine addiction problems from JUUL vaping products, with hundreds of complaints filed over the past year, and potentially several thousand additional cases expected in the coming months and years.

According to recently filed court documents, there are already at least 667 JUUL lawsuits filed nationwide, including claims for individuals who say their addictions were caused by false and misleading advertisements for the vaping pods that targeted teens and prior non-smokers, as well as class action claims filed on behalf of school districts and other entities that have incurred damages that resulted from the nationwide vaping epidemic among teens in the U.S.

Given similar questions of fact and law presented in complaints filed throughout the federal court system, the litigation is currently centralized before U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick III in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which is where JUUL Labs, Inc.’s San Francisco headquarters are located.

In a joint case management conference statement (PDF) submitted on June 17, the parties indicate that the litigation currently includes 539 personal injury claims, and lawsuits by 92 government entities; including 65 school districts, 19 counties, one city and seven tribes.

In addition to the federal cases, another 158 lawsuits have been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, and a claim has been presented by Attorneys General representing 11 states, including California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Mississippi, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Massachusetts.

Each of the claims present similar allegations indicating that the manufacturer engaged in an intentional scheme designed to target teens, young adults and prior non-smokers with their highly addictive vaping products, while withholding information about the risks associated with nicotine exposure. As a result, a new generation of Americans now face life-time nicotine addictions.

JUUL Teen Addiction Problems

As JUULing addiction lawyers continue to review and file claims for teens and young adults in the coming months and years, the litigation is expected to continue to grow, likely to include thousands of complaints against the manufacturer fo the controversial vaping pod.

Plaintiffs allege that JUUL was intentionally designed to look like a USB thumb drive, which has made the product popular among teems who are able to hide their vaping habit from parents, teachers and other adults. In addition, the manufacturer sold JUUL pods in various candy-like flavors, without disclosing the high levels of nicotine and risk of addiction.

JUUL Labs has been accused of fueling the teen e-cigarette epidemic in the United States, resulting in new generation now addicted to nicotine.

As part of the consolidation into a MDL, it is expected that Judge Orrick will establish a “bellwether” process, where a small group of representative claims will be prepared for early trial dates to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. However, if the manufacturer fails to reach JUUL settlements or another resolution for the claims following the consolidated pretrial proceedings, each individual case may be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trials in the future.

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1 comment

  1. Victor Reply

    Being someone who has been free of a 2 pack a day habit for close to 9 years, I don’t have a shred of doubt that I would still be a smoker if I hadn’t found out about vaping. While I understand my personal experience causes me to have a bias in favor of vaping product, I find it more than frustrating that stories of successfully quitting smoking such as my own as a result of switching to vaping are not only disregarded in mainstream media discourse, but moreover depicted by anti-vaping campaigns as mere propaganda stories weaved into the public sphere by vaping industry lobbyists.
    In addition to being a vape user, I also previously worked for multiple years in the vaping industry as a district manager of local vape shops.
    While it’s 100% true that JUUL products happened to be popular with teenagers, it is an outrageous allegation to claim the brand’s parent company, PAX, conspired to somehow create a product that would intentionally be appealing to underage children.
    Every package had a large bold print age restriction notice, and if any store were caught selling to customers without ID, the business would be disciplined just as strictly as if they had sold underage cigarettes.
    The claim the JUUL was producing “candy like” flavors is a flat out falsehood. They had four flavor being: tobacco, menthol, mint and fruit medley. In later years they added mango fruit and blueberry flavors to their catalog. The claim that somehow fruit flavors would leave teens helpless to avoid the temptation of illegally purchasing a product meant to serve as an alternative to traditional analog cigarettes is simply ludicrous and has zero scientific backing.
    Finally, the fact that JUUL has been singled out for this plethora of public scrutiny and legal proceedings is even more laughable due to the fact that the void of JUUL products has now created a power vacuum where there are now hundreds of nearly identically devices to JUUL on the market, which those same teenagers are now gravitating to with more choice of flavors than every before (this time around with true candy flavors available for their consumption).
    My question is the following:
    If two decades ago, teenagers were smoking cigarettes, why did we not have the same public meltdown as we are having today when they are using an infinitely less dangerous product? And why do people like myself, who rely on vape products to stay away from carcinogenic cigarette smoke have to suffer due to parents demanding their children be kept safe by state and federal government, rather than taking time to raise them the way they feel is right within the confines of their own home without having their morals and ignorance impede on my liberty?

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