Agreement provides meaningful funding for victims in teen vaping crisis
SAN FRANCISCO – E-cigarette maker Juul Labs has agreed to a settlement resolving approximately 5,000 lawsuits over the company’s sales and marketing of highly addictive e-cigarettes to teens and young adults.
The settlement provides meaningful funding for victims and their families, as well as school districts, local governments and Native American tribes that had to divert resources to respond to the vaping epidemic, said Lanier Law Firm mass tort leader Rick Meadow. He serves on the steering committee for the multidistrict litigation.
“This is a critical first step in correcting the harm caused by the aggressive marketing of e-cigarettes,” Mr. Meadow said. “Funding in this agreement will go a long way toward addressing the damage done to individuals and communities across the country.”
The sweeping agreement would resolve the majority of litigation over claims that Juul downplayed its products’ risks and targeted underage buyers. That includes the multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in a Northern California federal court, separate state Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings, and thousands of personal injury lawsuits and government entity and tribal cases.
“Rick is uniquely suited for complex litigation like this,” said firm founder Mark Lanier. “It’s gratifying when strong advocacy results in positive results for such a large group.”
The settlement was reached as bellwether trials loomed for early next year. In September, Juul agreed to pay $438.5 million to settle related litigation by 34 states and U.S. territories.
Lawsuits filed by the Lanier team charged that Juul’s aggressive marketing and sleek design were responsible for the vaping epidemic among teenagers. That led to declines in student performance and a diversion of school resources and revenue to combat the crisis. In addition, lawsuits charged that e-cigarettes were unreasonably dangerous and far more addictive than traditional tobacco products.
The MDL is In re: Juul Labs, Inc. Marketing, Sales Practices & Products Liability Litigation, 3:19-md-2913, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
About the Lanier Law Firm
For more than 30 years, the men and women at The Lanier Law Firm have worked tirelessly, throughout the United States, to find unique and effective solutions for their clients. More than 60 skilled attorneys practice law in a broad array of areas, including business litigation, pharmaceutical litigation, asbestos exposure, oil and gas litigation, personal injury as well as defective and dangerous products, among others. Named an Elite Trial Law Firm by The National Law Journal, The Lanier Law Firm has offices in Houston, New York and Los Angeles. To learn more, visit https://www.lanierlawfirm.com.