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March 12, 2020 01:20 PM EST — SAN DIEGO — The nationally recognized attorneys from Baron & Budd and Panish Shea & Boyle LLP have filed five more school district lawsuits against JUUL Labs Inc. for its role in creating an e-cigarette epidemic and resurgence in youth nicotine addiction that impedes the educational and learning environment in schools across California. To date, the firms represent a total of 23 school districts who have filed claims against JUUL.
The five lawsuits, filed on behalf of Pacific Grove Unified School District, Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, El Dorado Union High School District, Downey Unified School District, and Santa Cruz City Schools were filed in their respective counties, and the Case Numbers are 20CV000991, FCS054513, PC20200144, 20STCV09614, respectively.
These districts join 18 other school districts that have also filed, including Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the nation; San Diego Unified, the second largest district in California; Glendale Unified; Compton Unified; Anaheim Elementary; King City Union; Ceres Unified; Chico Unified; Davis Joint Unified; Poway Unified; Rocklin Unified; Acalanes Union High; Monterey Peninsula Unified; Anaheim Union High; Castro Valley Unified; Campbell Union High; Cajon Valley Union; and North Monterey County Unified School District to take a stand against JUUL’s promotion of dangerous and addictive products.
“These 23 school districts, which serve nearly 1.1 million students across California, are part of a statewide movement to hold JUUL accountable for the expenditure of public and taxpayer resources required to respond to the vaping crisis,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, John Fiske. “School districts of all shapes and sizes are standing up for their student communities—from northern, central, and southern California, from urban, suburban, and rural communities, and from large, medium, and small—they are all standing up.”
“These students, and the Districts that serve them, have suffered the consequence of a youth vaping epidemic for far too long – enough is enough,” said Panish Shea & Boyle LLP Partner, Rahul Ravipudi. “The safety and wellness of all children remains priority number one. We’re proud to represent these Districts in championing that mission and holding JUUL accountable for its deceitful marketing practices targeting our youth – we won’t stop fighting until justice is served.”
The lawsuits seek injunctive relief and abatement remedy to combat the e-cigarette epidemic, which has severely impacted the school districts by interfering with normal school operations. The districts are also seeking compensatory damages to provide relief from the districts’ financial losses as a result of students being absent from school, the extensive costs to orchestrate outreach and education programs regarding the risk of vaping, and deploying the enforcement restrictions – such as vape detectors, surveillance systems, 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. Over a million JUUL e-cigarettes were sold between 2015 and 2017. In fact, the e-cigarette category grew 97 percent to $1.96 billion between June 2017 and June 2018 alone. That growth is largely based on JUUL’s market strategy, which is to target school-age children, the lawsuit alleges.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the 2018 spike in nicotine vaping was the largest for any substance recorded in 44 years and the number of youth e-cigarette users increased by 1.5 million between 2017 and 2018. The lawsuit alleges JUUL’s aggressive, strategic marketing and product designs not only create an addiction crisis among youth consumers, but also a broader health crisis.
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 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.