JUUL Settlement Reached To Resolve Teen Vaping Lawsuits
The makers of JUUL vape pens have announced a global settlement, which the company says will resolve thousands of teen vaping lawsuits that claim the products were intentionally marketed to foster nicotine addiction in children.
JUUL vape pens were introduced in 2015, with a design that appeared similar to USB drives, allowing teens to hide their vaping habit from parents and school officials. After JUUL Labs aggressively marketed a variety of fruity and sweet JUUL flavors through social media influencers, the e-cigarette quickly became the most widely used among teens through the U.S. over the past decade, and fueled a vaping epidemic in the U.S., which has resulted in costs for states nationwide.
Thousands of families and young adults have filed JUUL lawsuits, alleging that the company’s actions left teens with a life-long nicotine addiction. Claims have also been brought by local school districts, which have been left with increased costs dealing with teen vaping problems in the United States.
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In the federal court system, all individual JUUL addiction lawsuits filed against the company are currently consolidated before U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick III in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.
The the first JUUL trials were expected to begin this year, to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be raised throughout the litigation over the company’s role in causing individual vaping addictions.
JUUL Settlement Announced
On December 6, JUUL Labs issued a press release announcing it had reached a global resolution for 5,000 lawsuits filed against the company in the U.S., involving claims being pursued by about 10,000 plaintiffs. The JUUL settlement is expected to resolve personal injury complaints, class action lawsuits, claims filed by government entities and Native American tribes, according to the press release.
The details of the settlement have not been released, but comes following reports that JUUL was considering bankruptcy protection due to the cost it expected to face in JUUL lawsuit payouts over the coming years. The proposed settlement still must be approved by the court.
The deal comes after JUUL reached a $438.5 million settlement agreement with 34 U.S. states and territories, as well as a series of strict requirements that would severely limit the ability of the company to market and sell its vaping devices to teens.
FDA JUUL Ban
The settlement agreement also comes several months after the FDA announced it was banning JUUL products from the U.S. market, due to an inability by the manufacturer to prove that the products can be sold in a way that does not threaten public health.
However, almost immediately after the ban was announced, JUUL filed a lawsuit to delay the ruling to give the company time to respond. The FDA agreed and has delayed the ban from going into effect for the time being.
The exact amount of each individual JUUL addiction settlement payout is unclear at this time, but if the deal is approved by the court a process will be established to determine the value of each claim, and each individual plaintiff will have an opportunity to determine whether to accept the offer.
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