By Christina Grube
(MASS TORT NEWS) JUUL Labs announced thousands of case settlements in litigation over unethical product production and marketing to minors (MDL 2913, IN RE: Juul Labs, Inc. Marketing, Sales Practices & Products Liability Litigation) totaling $1.7 billion dollars. The E-Cigarette producer announced the settlement last week and say equity investments have been secured to fund the settlements.
Watts Guerra partner Mikal Watts served on the Plaintiff steering committee and told Mass Tort News, “We’re proud of yesterday’s settlement of this righteous case, wherein committed trial lawyers across the U.S. banded together to hold JUUL Labs accountable for purposefully nicotine-addicting tens of millions of American kids.”
Watts continued, “I deposed the Chairman of the Board of JUUL, Nicholas Pritzker, whose family made billions off of JUUL’s unethical conduct. Now, they’re having to give a lot of that money back.”
JUUL Labs also views the settlements as positive, saying “These settlements represent a major step toward strengthening Juul Labs’ operations…to fulfill its mission to transition adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes while combating underage use.”
The settlements in question come months after JUUL already agreed to $438.5 million in settlements to U.S. states and territories for marketing claims, and weeks after laying off nearly 400 employees. The FDA also banned the e-cigarettes in late June after finding the products and their marketing not conducive to protecting public health. Though the FDA placed a stay on the marketing ban two weeks later, JUUL’s marketing application remains under review.
Tuesday’s settlement encompasses all cases of personal injury, consumer class action, government entity, and Native American tribes.
“The scope of these suits is enormous,” co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Sarah R. London said. “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.”