JUUL Litigation Moving Forward in MDL, As Growing Number of Lawsuits Filed Over Vaping Problems
JUUL Labs now faces nearly 300 lawsuits brought by teens, parents, and a number of school districts nationwide, each raising similar allegations that the e-cigarette’s design and marketing strategy resulted in widespread JUUL nicotine addictions among teens, which appears to be part of an intentional strategy to hook life-long users of their products.
Given similar questions of fact and law presented in claims filed throughout the federal court system, the JUUL lawsuits are now consolidated 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.
As more parents and young adults step forward to pursue claims after after becoming addicted to JUUL, it is widely expected that the size of the litigation will continue to grow over the coming months and years.
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According to minutes (PDF) from a recent status conference held to discuss the early status of the litigation, Judge Orrick encouraged the parties to continue working together to resolve discovery disputes and suggested that they consider an effective approach and timing for discussions about potential JUUL settlements that may resolve the litigation.
In addition, Judge Orrick requested parties submit a list of all pending motions and a proposed timeframe to resolve them by the next conference, which will be held on February 14.
JUUL Teen Addiction Problems
Recent FDA data indicates teen e-cigarette use has reached epidemic levels in the United States, and JUUL Labs has been accused of fueling the growing teen nicotine addiction problems in the United States, through the design and marketing of their vape pen.
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.
The manufacturer also marketed and sold JUUL in various candy-like flavors, which has resulted in a large number of teens and prior non-smokers starting to vape, and developing addictions to the high levels of nicotine contained in the pods.
As part of the consolidation into a MDL, all pretrial proceedings will be handled by Judge Orrick, but the cases will remain individual lawsuits. If settlements or another resolution is not reached during the pretrial proceedings, each case may eventually be transferred back to their originating districts for trial in the future.
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