JUUL Labs and Altria Group Inc., insist they are not the public nuisance seven government entities accuse them of being, and want the California federal court overseeing the vaping multidistrict litigation (MDL) to toss those claims, Law360 reported.
Altria, in particular, says it doesn’t even have a dog in that fight since many of the actions the government entities are accusing the companies of doing occurred before Altria paid $12.8 billion to buy a 35% stake in JUUL.
The entities holding both JUUL and Altria accountable for damages caused by the vaping epidemic include the Tucson Unified School District; the School Board of Broward County, Florida; Central Bucks School District; the School Board of Escambia County, Florida; Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District; the County of Santa Cruz; and Three Village Central School District.
In their complaints, which were filed in May, the entities claim they had to redirect resources to deal with nicotine-addicted teens. They accuse JUUL and Altria of marketing to youth while hiding the risks of nicotine addiction associated with vaping. Instead, the companies insisted vaping was a safer alternative to cigarette smoking. JUUL, on the other hand, says the entities’ accusations are “expansive and unfounded.”
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett, together with Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, are currently representing several individuals who are suing the top U.S. vape maker JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. Recognizing the critical threat to young people ensnared by nicotine addiction, and its effect on our nation’s educational system, our firm has also joined other nationally recognized law firms to represent school districts and public entities across the country in the fight to stop the school vaping crisis.
VanZandt says, “JUUL products have infiltrated schools and become a fixture in the lives of America’s youth. The result of JUUL’s conduct is a youth vaping epidemic that uniquely impacts schools, which have been forced to incur a multitude of costs to address this problem and face the challenge of how to help a generation of youth addicted to nicotine. Beasley Allen is honored to team up with a group of law firms committed to protecting public health to represent school districts around the country who are fighting back to protect children and education systems.”
The firms working together to represent school districts and public entities in this litigation together with Beasley Allen are Baron & Budd, P.C.; GozaHonnold Trial Lawyers; Panish Shea & Boyle LLP; Wagstaff & Cartmell; and Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger.