32 school districts across California have filed suit as they are overwhelmed by trying to manage the pervasive “juuling” which has increased by tenfold since 2013.
June 08, 2020 04:36 PM EDT SAN DIEGO — A national coalition of law firms has filed suit on behalf of the Pomona Unified School District against JUUL Labs Inc. for its role in creating an e-cigarette epidemic and resurgence in youth nicotine addiction that impedes the learning environments in schools across California.
The national law firm coalition includes Baron & Budd, P.C.; Panish Shea & Boyle; Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles, PC; Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP; Goza & Honnold, LLC; and Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger. The coalition is working together to help school districts and public entities combat the youth vaping epidemic.
Pomona Unified School District joins the following California school districts that have also filed lawsuits to take a stand against JUUL’s promotion of dangerous and addictive products, including:
Acalanes Union High School District
Anaheim Elementary School District
Anaheim Union High School District
Burbank Unified School District
Cajon Valley Union School District
Campbell Union High School District
Castro Valley Unified School District
Ceres Unified School District
Chico Unified School District
Compton Unified School District
Davis Joint Unified School District
Downey Unified School District
El Dorado Union High School District
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District
Glendale Unified School District
King City Union School District
Los Angeles County Office of Education
Los Angeles Unified School District (second largest school district in the nation)
Menifee Union School District
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
North Monterey County Unified School District
North Valley Military Institute
Pacific Grove Unified School District
Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Poway Unified School District
Rocklin Unified School District
Roseville Joint Union High School District
San Diego County Office of Education
San Diego Unified School District (second largest district in California)
San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District
Santa Cruz City Schools
Scotts Valley Unified School District
Woodland Joint Unified School District
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.
“JUUL chose profits over the safety of its customers and intentionally targeted youth consumers in order to create a new generation of nicotine addiction,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, John Fiske. “California schools have been hit hard by the vaping epidemic and several districts are stepping up to take a stand against JUUL and do what’s best for their students.”
“In creating a youth vaping epidemic, JUUL has jeopardized the wellness and safety of millions of school-age children and made billions of dollars while doing it,” said Panish Shea & Boyle LLP Partner, Rahul Ravipudi. “We intend to hold JUUL accountable for its deceitful marketing practices and proudly stand beside each and every school district that can no longer tolerate the health risks brought upon its students or the financial burden associated with combating a vaping crisis on its campuses.”
Since entering the market in 2015, JUUL has dominated the e-cigarette industry and has controlled 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.
ABOUT BARON & BUDD, P.C.
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.
ABOUT PANISH SHEA & BOYLE LLP
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.