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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.