For the last two years, the major electronic cigarette company Juul has been entangled in a high-stakes lawsuit with 33 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. In September 2022, an agreement was reached between Juul and the plaintiffs that would send almost $440 million to disperse amongst the states. At long last, the titans of the vaping industry could relax and take a step back from their legal challenges — right?
Not so fast.
What Comes Next?
The settled suit alleged that Juul’s marketing practices specifically targeted teenagers and significantly contributed to a surge of underage vaping. From 2015-2019, Juul’s high-nicotine products were advertised using social media, youthful models, and launch parties — all methods that skew disproportionately toward young people. As a result of the settlement, they are barred from using these tactics, along with others that are considered too public-facing (like billboards).
While Juul’s settlement is not an admission of guilt, the large price tag associated with it suggests a couple of things. First, the company felt that paying a $438.5 million sum would be less damaging than allowing the suit to play out in court. This probably means they feel there is a better-than-average chance that the evidence presented would prove the company to be at fault. Second, it shows that Juul will likely remain vulnerable to more lawsuits. In fact, there are currently nine additional suits pending from other states.
The settlement also opens the company to personal harm lawsuits for the damages they have caused to individuals. Many teenagers became addicted to nicotine — a habit-forming substance with clear negative health implications — due to the “coolness” surrounding vaping products. A coolness that Juul seemed to perpetuate with its marketing. Hundreds of these personal suits have already been filed. Now that Juul has established a precedence for settlement, there will be many more.
Campson & Campson is a firm dedicated to helping people resolve personal injury and accident cases. If you or your teenage child has been harmed by e-cigarette use, reach out today for a free consultation. Contact us at (212) 302-1180 or by filling out our online form.