U.S. District Judge William Orrick of the Northern District of California in San Francisco has tapped the team of 21 lawyers to lead the national multidistrict litigation (MDL) against vape giant JUUL on behalf of Plaintiffs. Beasley Allen lawyer Joseph VanZandt was appointed to serve on the Plaintiff Steering Committee.
Since JUUL hit the market in 2015, e-cigarette usage 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 has been on the forefront of the JUUL litigation. Joseph heads up our firm’s JUUL litigation team, which represents thousands of individual Plaintiffs and dozens of school districts. For months, Joseph has travelled the country meeting with countless individuals who have been impacted by JUUL – school boards, school superintendents, school principals, parents, teachers, and even multiple U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen to gain a comprehensive understanding of this epidemic and what it will take to redress this problem on a national scale. Joseph has become a frequently invited speaker at national conferences about the JUUL litigation and has been appointed as a Co-Chair of the American Association of Justice’s JUUL Litigation Group.
Beasley Allen is committed to holding JUUL accountable for the damage it has done to teenagers, young adults, families, and schools through targeting minors with its dangerous and highly addictive vape products. If you have questions about the JUUL litigation, contact Joseph VanZandt.
This story appears in the January 2020 issue of The Jere Beasley Report. For more like this, visit the Report online and subscribe.