Vape giant JUUL has been hit with a lawsuit by a California school district seeking compensation for creating a vaping epidemic that has forced the school system to divert resources, time and effort to combat the problem.
The proposed class action was filed Oct. 29 by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second-largest school district in the country with some 600,000 students. LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner issued a statement saying, “By filing this lawsuit today, we are taking a step toward ensuring those responsible will pay the price to repair the harm done to our students, our schools and the communities we serve.”
The lawsuit comes just weeks after Beasley Allen Law Firm announced its attorneys and co-council filed lawsuits on behalf of school districts in Kansas, Missouri and New York against JUUL, aiming to hold the vaping giant accountable for forcing them to divert resources from education to cover the cost, creating a public nuisance and a threat to public health and safety.
The lawsuits come as JUUL faces mounting criticism over its marketing that allegedly targeted youth through social media ads, flavored e-liquid, and pods the size and shape of flash drives. The company announced it was suspending sales of all flavored e-liquids other than menthol and tobacco in a show of making amends. But a new generation of young people is already addicted to nicotine.
The safety of vaping has been called into question in recent months as the country grapples with an outbreak of a mysterious and sometimes fatal vape-related lung injury. As of Oct. 29, 2019, 1,888 cases of lung injury have been reported from 49 states (except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory. To date, there have been 37 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). No specific vape brand or ingredient has been identified as the culprit.
Beasley Allen attorneys have also filed lawsuits on behalf of individuals who are suffering from severe nicotine addiction and other physical injuries related to the use of JUUL vaping devices. For more information about these claims, or those on behalf of school systems, contact our Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, or section lawyers Joseph VanZandt or Sydney Everett.