Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ann Jones has appointed a team of 20 attorneys to lead litigation consolidated in California state court against vape device maker JUUL on behalf of Plaintiffs. Beasley Allen lawyer Beau Darley was appointed to serve on the Plaintiff Steering Committee (PSC).
Nearly 100 cases have been filed so far in the Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding, or JCCP, which follows a similar process to federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) by consolidating similar legal claims against a common Defendant.
Since JUUL hit the market in 2015, vaping among youth has skyrocketed. The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 28% of high schoolers and 11% of middle schoolers self-report vaping; the actual numbers are likely much higher. That equates to more than 5 million teenagers vaping in 2019, up from 3.6 million in 2018. Most surveyed students admit that JUUL is their preferred vape brand. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC have labeled this as an epidemic among youth and an addiction crisis; both agencies have attributed the rise of vaping among youth to JUUL.
The JUUL litigation is one of the most important and fastest growing litigations in the country and it will play a key role in addressing this public health crisis facing the nation’s youth. Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed against JUUL on behalf of youth, parents, young adults, and school districts. The number of cases against JUUL is expected to rise significantly in the coming months. This litigation – much like the underlying public health crisis – is complex and urgent, requiring a comprehensive, cooperative, thoughtful, organized and powerful effort by Court-appointed Plaintiff leadership.
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett, together with Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, also are currently representing individuals who are suing the top U.S. vape maker JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. They also have filed lawsuits on behalf of school districts nationwide, which seek to protect students and recover resources spent fighting the vaping epidemic.
This story appears in the March 2020 issue of The Jere Beasley Report. For more like this, visit the Report online and subscribe.