More JUUL Injury Claims Expected to be Filed as Litigation Progresses
With the recent creation of a JUUL federal multidistrict litigation, the JUUL MDL court has called for lawyers to apply for leadership positions to coordinate pretrial proceedings.
JUUL Labs, creators and marketers of the popular JUUL e-cigarette, face increasing numbers of product liability and class action lawsuits from individuals across the US. Each of these lawsuits allege similar claims that JUUL failed to warn users of the powerfully addictive nature of JUUL pods, which contributed to users’ severe nicotine addictions and injuries. Parents of injured young adults and teenagers even claim that JUUL illegally marketed JUUL products to kids, deliberately downplaying the risks of vaping JUUL e-cigarettes. Thousands of cases are expected to be filed throughout the federal court system in the upcoming months.
To handle the growing number of injury claims, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict litigation ordered for all JUUL lawsuits pending in the federal court system to be consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation. On October 2, all JUUL claims pending in federal courts were consolidated before Judge William H. Orrick III in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. San Francisco, where the District Court is located, is also a headquarters base for JUUL Labs.
The same day, Judge Orrick issued a pretrial order not only establishing how the JUUL cases would proceed but calling for JUUL lawyers to send in applications for leadership positions. During the consolidated pretrial proceedings, attorneys appointed to leadership roles will take certain actions that benefit all plaintiffs during the litigation process. Actions may include arguing motions, evaluating discovery documents, and taking depositions.
Leadership applications were filed last week, and many expect Judge Orrick to announce the appointed lawyers during or after a status conference scheduled on November 8.
What does this mean for Plaintiffs?
Even though JUUL lawyers are appointed to different positions, JUUL plaintiffs still maintain their own attorneys to represent their claim against JUUL Labs. The appointment of lawyers to leadership positions will help in the steady progression of the JUUL MDL so lawsuits can start being addressed and heard by the court.
However, if a JUUL settlement is not reached during the pretrial proceedings, individual JUUL injury cases may be remanded back to the courts they were originally filed in for future trial dates.