As more vaping injury and addiction claims flood into the courts, the judge presiding over the JUUL litigation recently appointed lawyers for leadership positions in the MDL. Currently several dozen JUUL lawsuits pend in the federal courts, all raising similar claims that JUUL Labs failed to warn individuals about the high risk of addiction and injury from using their products.
On December 20, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick III issued a court order listing the JUUL attorneys appointed to leadership positions to help in coordinated pretrial proceedings. It is a common practice to elect a group of lawyers to leadership positions in litigations like this in order to more efficiently address cases and take actions that will benefit all plaintiffs.
According to the court order, four attorneys were appointed for co-lead counsel, two for plaintiffs’ federal/state court liaison counsel, one for the plaintiffs’ government entity liaison counsel, and fourteen for the plaintiffs’ steering committee.
JUUL Addiction and Injury Litigation
JUUL Labs, creators of the popular JUUL e-cigarette and liquid pods, face dozens of personal injury lawsuits from injured young adults and teens across the United States. Each of these claims raise similar allegations that JUUL e-cigarettes caused users to develop crippling nicotine addictions and severe injuries, including lung failure, breathing difficulties, etc.
However, experts anticipate the number of lawsuits will significantly grow as JUUL lawyers review and file more claims on behalf of injured JUUL users. JUUL e-cigarettes is one of the top-selling e-cigarette brands in the United States and is especially popular among young adults and teens. In fact, the FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb largely blamed the youth vaping epidemic in the United States on JUUL, connecting the rise in JUUL profits to the rise in teen vaping.
With the rise in vaping injuries and lawsuits against JUUL labs, the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decided to centralize all JUUL federal claims as part of a multidistrict litigation. Judge Orrick now presides over these lawsuits in the Northern District of California, the location of JUUL Labs’ San Francisco headquarters.
During the litigation, if parties are unable to reach a settlement for the JUUL injury and addiction cases, each claim may be eventually remanded back to the court is was originally filed in for a future trial date.