Juul Settlement to End Juvenile Vaping Lawsuits…


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Julie Labs Inc. won preliminary approval of a settlement aimed at resolving thousands of lawsuits targeting the e-cigarette maker as a leading cause of a U.S. youth vaping epidemic.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick said Friday that the deal to settle nearly 10,000 lawsuits filed by local governments across the U.S. appears to be “fair and reasonable.” He still has to finalize the deal. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed at the hearing, but Bloomberg News reported in December that the settlement was valued at at least $1.2 billion.

Juul agrees to pay $1.2 billion in youth vaping settlement

The deal aims to resolve all personal injury, class action and school district claims against Juul collected for Orrick in San Francisco for pre-trial information sharing and testing processes. Lawyers in the case said they expect to return to court in July to seek final approval.

Arik Ben-Zvi, a Juul spokesperson, did not immediately return an email on Friday for comment on the preliminary approval of the settlement.

The proposed settlement comes as the embattled e-cigarette maker likely avoided bankruptcy late last year with a cash injection from longtime investors and by laying off hundreds of employees to cut costs. That new financing was necessary because sales of its products fell by more than 20% last year.

Juul faced a spate of lawsuits accusing him of failing to warn consumers about the risks of vaping and illegally marketing the devices for delivering nicotine to minors. School districts in the US have sued the company – once backed by tobacco company Altria Group – for creating so-called public nuisance by targeting children in its marketing efforts. District officials complain that vaping disrupts classes and causes other discipline problems.

Altria paid $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in the e-cigarette company and has since written down the value of that investment to $1.5 billion. More than 60 deaths and 2,700 hospitalizations have been linked to vaping-related lung injuries, according to the CDC.

Juul reaches $439 million settlement over marketing to children

The push to get the $1.2 billion deal approved comes as states finalize a separate $439 million settlement over the e-cigarette maker’s marketing and sales practices, especially those aimed at children. Juul agreed in September to accept strict limits on its marketing campaigns as part of the agreement.

The case is in re: Juul Labs Inc. Marketing, Sales Practices & Products Liability Litigation, 19-md-02913, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco)

Photo: Pphotographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Copyright 2023 Bloomberg.

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