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December 19, 2019

Judge Approves Direct Filing of JUUL Injury Lawsuits into Federal MDL

Waves of JUUL Nicotine Addiction Lawsuits Expected in Multidistrict Litigation


In anticipation of increasing numbers of injury and addiction claims against JUUL Labs, a federal judge approves of the direct filing of JUUL lawsuits into the JUUL federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) instead of separate state courts.

Currently, several dozen lawsuits against JUUL Labs, manufacturers of the infamous JUUL e-cigarette and vape pods, pend in district courts nationwide. Each of these claims raise similar allegations against the vape product manufacturer, stating JUUL failed to warn individuals about the dangerous risks of using their products. As lawyers continue to review and file claims on behalf of injured teens and young adults, hundreds of claims are expected to be filed against JUUL in the upcoming months.

Across the U.S., injured individuals claim they developed severe nicotine addictions from using JUUL products. Allegedly, each “JUUL liquid pod” contains the amount of nicotine contained in two packs of regular cigarettes, contributing to users’ crippling addictions. Individuals who have developed severe addictions from “JUULing” say JUUL neglected to adequately warn uses about the risks associated with vaping JUUL pods, removing their right to choose an alternate vape product.

Many of these lawsuits even claim JUUL used deceptive marketing tactics to target teens and young adults, contributing to a widespread youth “JUULing” outbreak. Federal health officials accuse JUUL as being the leading instigator in the U.S. teen vaping epidemic. In fact, the dramatic rise in JUUL’s sales back in 2015 directly correlates with the dramatic increase in the numbers of teens vaping

 So far, parents of injured teens, young adults, and even school districts have filed personal injury lawsuits against the popular e-cigarette manufacturer. More individuals are expected to file claims against JUUL as the litigation progresses and more research is done into the health effects of JUUL e-cigarettes.

DIRECT FILING OF JUUL LAWSUITS

Given the rise of lawsuits claiming similar fact and law, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided to centralize these lawsuits as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of California. Centralizing these lawsuits to one location and judge will help address similar cases in a more efficient manner for both plaintiffs and defendants.

In a case management order released on December 13, Judge William H. Orrick III, presiding judge over the JUUL MDL ordered for the direct filing of future JUUL lawsuits into the MDL. By doing so, cases will be direct brought into the Northern District of California, rather than being filed in separate state courts which are later transferred into the MDL. This will aid in cases being addressed and filed in a more timely and efficient manner.

Judge Orrick will likely appoint a select group of JUUL lawyers to leadership positions to help coordinate pre-trial discovery and actions that benefit both parties.  

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