$462 Million Settlement Reached in Juul Labs Cases
Juul Labs just settled cases with six states and Washington, D.C.
Juul Labs has settled with six states and Washington, D.C., in the latest high-profile settlement involving the disgraced e-cigarette manufacturer and state attorneys general from across the U.S.
New York state, California, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Mexico are the seven jurisdictions in the settlement that is valued at nearly half-billion dollars. The total sum of the settlement is about $462 million, according to court documents reviewed by Vaping Post and via other news outlets.
Remarks from the Attorneys General
“Juul lit a nationwide public health crisis by putting addictive products in the hands of minors and convincing them that it’s harmless — today they are paying the price for the harm they caused,” said Letitia James, New York attorney general, in a press statement. “Today’s agreement will help young New Yorkers put their vapes down for good and ensure that future generations understand the harms of vaping.” Attorney General James also thanked the work of her colleagues in the other states and D.C. “for their collaboration on this effort to protect the health and well-being of our communities.” The six other attorneys general have issued similar statements in a veritable victory lap over Juul.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta called the multistate Juul settlement a “step forward in our fight to protect our kids from getting hooked on vaping and nicotine.” Bonta thanked everyone.
“By using advertising and marketing strategies to lure young people to its products, Juul put the health and safety of its vulnerable targets and the California public at risk,” Bonta said.
Same tune, different jurisdictions
Phil Weiser, the attorney general of Colorado, said the settlement is a strong legal victory for “everyone who fell victim to Juul’s reckless, deceptive, and unconscionable marketing tactics.”
“While no amount of money or new restrictions on Juul’s business practices can undo the harms caused by the teen vaping epidemic, this settlement will make great strides towards reducing it and can support young people who are hurting now more than ever,” Weiser said in a statement explaining the case.
Brian L. Schwalb, the attorney general for the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), said the settlement comes amid Juul’s clear of “lying to consumers” about their closed vaping product’s safety.
“Juul preyed on children for profit, implementing an intentionally deceptive, manipulative marketing campaign targeting underage users with the intention of creating addicted customers,” attorney general Schwalb said in a press statement on the settlement.
“Now, thanks to the diligent work by our legal teams, Juul has ended its harmful, illegal conduct and must put millions of dollars towards mitigating the public health damage it caused,” he said.
Settlement Sums by State
Attorneys General Kwame Raoul of Illinois; Andrea Joy Campbell of Massachusetts; and Raul Torrez of New Mexico have all issued statements and recognition of the multistate settlement.
“The terms of the agreement, like prior settlements, provide financial resources to further combat underage use and develop cessation programs and reflect our current business practices, which were implemented as part of our company-wide reset in the fall of 2019,” Juul said in a press statement announcing the multistate settlement between the states and Washington, D.C.
The sum that each jurisdiction will receive from the $462 is based on the impact on public health among minors and adults who use electronic cigarettes, population, and direct and indirect factors.
New York will receive $112.7 million for prevention efforts.
California will receive $175.8 million — the highest settlement sum out of any litigation involving Juul Labs and other plaintiffs.
Colorado will receive $31.7 million. Massachusetts will receive $41 million. Illinois will receive $67.6 million. New Mexico will receive $17.1 million. The District of Columbia will receive $15.2 million.
How Settlement Dollars Will Be Used
A review of the court documents indicates that the sums secured by each state will be used for prevention efforts in helping minors and adults quit vaping. Additionally, the funding in some states will go to the payment of fines and the settlement of lawsuits at local jurisdictions within the larger context of the states. Let’s take the settlement that California was granted, for example.
According to Bonta’s office, the total settlement will help the state of California fund research, education, and state and local law enforcement efforts related to electronic cigarettes. Juul is also restricted from utilizing advertising and promotional campaigns that somehow target youth or youthful demographics like young adults above the minimum legal sales age of 21 years or older.
Additionally, a lawsuit filed by the office of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón against Juul Labs was covered.
“The company opted to illegally market its products to our children and now Juul is going to pay a steep price for its mistakes,” Gascón said in a press statement that featured remarks from Attorney General Bonta. “We hope that Juul and other companies understand that risking the health of our youth will not be tolerated and we will ensure that they follow the law.”
Janice Hahn, the current chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, participated in the Bonta press statement that gave notice to the securing of settlement funds for statewide efforts to counter electronic cigarette use among the state’s minors.
Juul Litigation in Context
This settlement is the last major resolution in literally thousands of lawsuits filed by states, local governments, school districts, and individuals against Juul Labs. A report published by The New York Times indicates that this settlement closes lawsuits that amount to well over several billions of dollars in payouts to state, and local governments, and individuals who allege negative impact.
The e-cig company also settled to pay nearly $440 million to settle a joint two-year investigation by 33 states into the marketing of vaping products toward youth. In a press statement at the time, Juul said that it has “taken a series of steps to stabilize its business operations and address past legal issues.”