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January 17, 202 — SAN DIEGO — Today, the nationally recognized law firms of Baron & Budd, P.C. and Panish, Shea, & Boyle, LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ceres Unified School District, against JUUL Labs, Inc. for the company’s role in cultivating and fostering an e-cigarette epidemic that disrupts the education and learning environment across the District. The suit was filed in Stanislaus County Superior Court on January 16, 2020 (Case No. CV-20-000368).
The District’s lawsuit follows those filed by the San Diego Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, Glendale Unified School District, Compton Unified School District, King City Union School District, and Anaheim Elementary School District, all against JUUL for the same negligence and nuisance claims.
“We are hearing from more and more school districts needing relief from the on-campus JUUL crisis,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, John Fiske. “JUUL intentionally targeted students with its marketing tactics, flavored nicotine, and sleek, tech-oriented products, and this lawsuit will hold JUUL accountable.”
“Ceres Unified School District cannot be expected to carry the burden, or repair the damage, of a student vaping epidemic created by JUUL’s deceptive marketing practices to our youth,” said Rahul Ravipudi, Partner at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP.
The lawsuit seeks injunction and abatement to stop the e-cigarette epidemic, which has severely impacted the school district by interfering with normal school operations. The District also seeks compensatory damages to provide relief from the district’s financial losses as a result of students being absent from school, coordinating outreach and education programs regarding the health risks of vaping, and enforcement actions – such as vape detectors, video surveillance, and staff to monitor the school’s property in an effort to combat the e-cigarette crisis.
Since entering the market in 2015, JUUL has dominated the e-cigarette industry and now controls over 70% of the market. Reports found that in 2018, 4.9 million middle and high school students used tobacco products, with 3.6 million of those students using e-cigarettes. From 2017 to 2018, youth e-cigarette users increased by 1.5 million. That growth is largely based on JUUL’s market strategy, which is to target school-age children to ensure the continual growth of their consumer base.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the 2018 spike in nicotine vaping was the largest for any substance recorded in 44 years. JUUL’s aggressive, strategic marketing and product designs not only create an addiction crisis among youth consumers, but also a widespread burden on school districts.
Baron & Budd, P.C. is among the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With more than 40 years of experience, Baron & Budd has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the United States. As a law firm that takes pride in remaining at the forefront of litigation, Baron & Budd has spearheaded many significant cases for hundreds of entities and thousands of individuals. Since the firm was founded in 1977, Baron & Budd has achieved substantial national acclaim for its work on cutting-edge litigation, trying hundreds of cases to verdict and settling tens of thousands of cases in areas of litigation as diverse and significant as dangerous and highly addictive pharmaceuticals, defective medical devices, asbestos and mesothelioma, California wildfires and environmental contamination, fraudulent banking practices, e-cigarettes, motor vehicles, federal whistleblower cases, and other consumer fraud issues.
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm representing plaintiffs in catastrophic injury, wrongful death, product liability, mass torts/class action, sexual abuse/assault and business litigation cases. Firm attorneys have obtained some of the most significant awards for plaintiffs in U.S. history, including a $4.9 billion verdict in Anderson v. GM, and are repeatedly recognized for excellence by other trial attorneys, legal organizations and publications nationwide. The firm is ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® as a “Tier 1” Firm – the highest ranking a firm can receive – in the areas of Plaintiffs Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions, Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation and Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation, and is recognized as being among the top Plaintiff’s law firms in the country by the National Law Journal.