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Eighteen California school districts have filed suit to take a stand against the growing youth vaping epidemic and hold JUUL accountable for their role in the health crisis
March 03, 2020 01:43 PM EST — SAN DIEGO —-The nationally recognized attorneys from Baron & Budd and Panish Shea & Boyle LLP have filed lawsuits on behalf of North Monterey County Unified School District and Cajon Valley Union School District against JUUL Labs Inc. for obstructing the learning environments in schools across California by creating a youth e-cigarette epidemic. The NMCUSD lawsuit was filed in the Monterey Superior Court (Case No. 20CV000858) and the CVUSD lawsuit was filed in the San Diego County Superior Court (Case No. 37-2020-00011247-CU-MT-CTL).
These districts join 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 School District, Rocklin Unified School District, Acalanes Union High School District, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Castro Valley Unified School District and Campbell Union High School District to take a stand against JUUL’s promotion of dangerous and addictive products.
“The youth vaping epidemic created by JUUL has significant costs,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, John Fiske. “These eighteen school districts represent and serve over 1 million students and have taken on an extreme financial burden in order to try and stop the pervasive vaping on their campuses and keep their students safe.”
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 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.
“As court appointed Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiff Public Entities, we are honored to represent the growing number of school districts throughout California who continue to come forward, advocating for the health and safety of their students and staff affected by the vaping epidemic,” said Rahul Ravipudi, Partner at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. “Holding JUUL accountable for its deceitful marketing practices targeting our youth is the first of many steps in rectifying the damage caused by the e-cigarette manufacturer. We’re ready to see this fight through until justice is served.”
JUUL dominates 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. The lawsuit alleges the rapid growth is largely based on JUUL’s market strategy of targeting school-age children.
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, 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.