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June 30, 2020 — SAN DIEGO — The National JUUL Litigation team has filed suits on behalf of the Oroville Union High School District and Atwater Elementary 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 the country.
The Oroville Union High School District and Atwater Elementary School District join over 100 school districts that have already filed lawsuits to take a stand against JUUL’s promotion of dangerous and addictive products. These districts represent over 5 million students who are affected by the vaping health crisis.
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 has to step up and take ownership for their role in this health crisis,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, John Fiske. “This youth vaping epidemic is causing major health problems for students and school districts across the nation are expending valuable resources in order to prevent and stop the spike in youth nicotine addiction.”
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.
“Like so many school districts that have been impacted by youth vaping, the Oroville Union High School District and Atwater Elementary School District can no longer carry the burden of e-cigarette use among its students,” said Panish Shea & Boyle LLP Partner Rahul Ravipudi. “We are ready to hold JUUL accountable for creating a vaping crisis that has reached epidemic proportions on school campuses, putting the health and safety of all students and staff at risk.”
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.
The National JUUL Litigation consortium is comprised of the firms of Baron & Budd, P.C.; Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles, PC; Goza & Honnold, LLC; Panish Shea & Boyle LLP; Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP; and Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger. These are some of the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With decades of experience, the National JUUL Litigation team has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the country. The firms’ attorneys have obtained significant awards for their clients and have been recognized for their continued excellence. The legal team was formed to work jointly on behalf of public entities in the investigation and prosecution of claims for damages arising out of the public nuisance, negligence and other claims against e-cigarette companies, such as JUUL Labs, Inc. The National JUUL Litigation attorneys are leaders in representing public entities in this type of litigation. Members of our consortium currently serve in leadership roles, including Public Entity Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel representing school districts throughout California. All the firms on the legal team have built their reputations on their ability to litigate complex disputes. The National JUUL Litigation team is committed to representing public entities, large or small, and ensuring they are justly compensated for the cost imposed on them by irresponsible companies. For more information, visit www.schoolvapingcrisis.com.