More School Districts Sue Juul Over E-Cigarette Epidemic

The Davis Unified School District has joined a growing group of school districts around California in filing suit against e-cigarette giant Juul for its alleged role in promoting youth vaping among CUHSD students.

Source: Daily Democrat | Published on January 28, 2020

Juul lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed last Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, by the same attorneys also representing the Campbell and Chico unified school districts.

The lawsuit was directed against Juul in Butte County by attorneys from Baron & Budd and Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. It's seeking damages related to financial losses suffered from students being absent from class, the expenses needed to pay for school outreach and education programs and the costs of hiring of staff to monitor students and enforce school restrictions on using e-cigarette products on school grounds.

Juul is the largest e-cigarette company in the United States, with an estimated 70% of the e-cigarette market. CUHSD's lawsuit cites U.S. Food and Drug Administration data as saying there were 3.6 million middle and high-school-aged users of e-cigarette devices in the U.S. in 2018.

According to the lawsuit, the attorneys claim that Juul's efforts to promote and advertise its vaping devices have resulted in "a dramatic increase in student vaping in just two short years" CUHSD said the percentage of its students that currently use vaping devices grew by 300% between 2017 and 2019.

This week's lawsuits come on the heels of Cabrillo Unified School District, Jefferson Union High School District and San Mateo-Foster City School District filing similar suits against Juul in December 2019. Other California school districts that have sued Juul include Los Angeles Unified School District, Glendale Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, Compton Unified School District, Anaheim Elementary School District, King City Union School District and Ceres Unified School District.

"These ten school districts, which represent over 900,000 students, 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 in size - they are all standing up."

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.

In a statement given to this news organization, a Juul spokesman dismissed the claims in school district's lawsuits, saying that the company's focus is upon "resetting the vapor category in the U.S." and working with public health officials, states attorneys general and government regulators to fight underage use of vaping products.

"Our customer base is the world's 1 billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users," Juul's spokesman said. "To the extent these cases allege otherwise, they are without merit."