Juul settles more than 5,000 lawsuits for undisclosed amount
(The Hill) – E-cigarette company Juul announced on Tuesday it has settled more than 5,000 lawsuits for an undisclosed amount after claims mounted over Juul’s marketing practices and plagued the company’s finances.
The company said the global settlements resolve claims with roughly 10,000 plaintiffs who filed suits in recent months and nearly led Juul to bankruptcy, including personal injury claims as well as settlements with a consumer class action, local government entities and Native American tribes.
“The scope of these suits is enormous,” Lieff Cabraser, a co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “These settlements will put meaningful compensation in hands of victims and their families, get real funds to schools for abatement programs and help government and tribal entities prevent youth use of e-cigarettes across the U.S.”
The company had increasingly come under fire after an investigation found the e-cigarette company deliberately engaged in an advertising campaign that appealed to youth, and Juul has also settled with more than 30 states and territories over the issues that amount to nearly $440 million.
Multiple state attorneys general on Tuesday announced they had formally entered into that agreement, which was agreed in principle in September, touting funds recovered for their states.
Those settlements also require Juul to change its marketing practices.
Juul said it was legally barred from disclosing the settlement amount for the other groups but indicated in its statement that it has secured an equity investment to fund the new resolution.
“These settlements represent a major step toward strengthening Juul Labs’ operations and securing the company’s path forward to fulfill its mission to transition adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes while combating underage use,” the company said.
Juul, which became an independent company in 2017, was once the leading vaping product and became a popular brand among teens.
But the company has since been embroiled in legal and regulatory battles, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sought to remove Juul’s vaping products from the market entirely over the summer. A federal appeals court blocked that FDA order the next day.
The company nearly filed for bankruptcy, but in recent days it found a way to avoid doing so through layoffs and a cash infusion from early investors.
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