What is a JUUL?
JUUL is a brand of e-cigarette that is shaped like a USB flash drive. Like other e-cigarettes, JUUL is a battery-powered device that heats a nicotine-containing liquid to produce an aerosol that is inhaled.
With JUUL e-cigarettes, the liquid nicotine is stored in a JUUL pod. When users insert the pod into its cartridge and inhale through a mouthpiece at the end of the e-cigarette, the device vaporizes the liquid.
Why is JUUL dangerous?
JUUL e-cigarettes have a high level of nicotine. According to the manufacturer, a single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes. JUUL is one of a few e-cigarettes that use nicotine salts, which allow particularly high levels of nicotine to be inhaled more easily and with less irritation than the free-base nicotine that has traditionally been used in tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
In addition to addiction, JUUL use has been linked to nicotine poisoning, cardiovascular disease, seizures, strokes, birth defects, and respiratory illnesses.
What types of lawsuits have been filed against JUUL?
Juul now faces thousands of lawsuits, filed in both federal and state courts throughout the country. The federal actions are so numerous that they have been consolidated into a multi-district litigation (“MDL”) in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Similarly, cases filed in state court in California, where JUUL Labs is headquartered, have been consolidated in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The actions include class actions, individual personal injury cases, and actions on behalf government entities and school districts.
Injured consumers have joined together and filed class action lawsuits against Juul Labs, suing the company over their marketing tactics aimed at young adults and their failure to warn consumers of the long-term health consequences of using their product. They also allege Juul defectively designed its product by failing to limit the amount of nicotine delivered to the user, resulting in a product that poses risks of abuse, addiction, and, in youth, long-term neurological damage.
Personal injury lawsuits have also been sought for serious injuries, including addiction, cardiovascular disease, seizures, strokes, birth defects, and respiratory illnesses. A Florida mother has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit, accusing Juul of hooking her son on nicotine when he was a healthy 15-year-old; the teenager “died in his sleep at the age of 18 after years of Juul use.”
Government Entities & School Districts
Governmental entities have brought a host of lawsuits against Juul and other e-cigarette companies, alleging the industry is preying on young and underage people in its advertising in order to get a new generation addicted to nicotine, causing state and local governments to incur significant costs to undo the damages caused by the vaping crisis. Over 100 school districts have also brought lawsuits alleging that the epidemic has challenged the academic achievements of students, caused schools to divert resources to combat vaping, affected individual learning, and led to a rise in student absences, which leads to reduced funding.
Can I still bring or join a lawsuit against JUUL?
Yes! If you or a loved one have become addicted and suffered injuries related to Juul or other e-cigarettes, you may be entitled to file or join an existing lawsuit – especially if hooked on nicotine by using Juul or other e-cigarette devices before the age of 18.
Forester Hanyie provides free, no-obligation consultations to discuss your legal options with an experienced attorney. If you are considering pursuing a lawsuit, remember to save all evidence in your possession, including documentation of purchase history (i.e. receipts, bank statements, emails, etc.), medical and therapy records, and e-cigarette devices (i.e. JUUL device, “JUULpods,” etc.).