What Parents Need to Know About JUUL Bellwether Cases

Young Teen Outside VapingJUUL Labs, Inc. faces thousands of lawsuits alleging that the company marketed its e-cigarettes to minors and that teenagers and children were hurt by vaping. Since many cases have common issues, they have been combined in a multidistrict litigation action (MDL). While each case is unique, bellwether cases will be heard to determine the strength of the plaintiffs’ claims.

Benefits of Bellwether Cases

The outcome of these bellwether lawsuits will allow both JUUL Labs and individual plaintiffs to see how courts are likely to rule in JUUL cases. While the outcome of bellwether cases does not guarantee any future legal outcomes, both parties can more accurately assess their likelihood of legal success, the strengths of their legal arguments, and their potential vulnerabilities.

JUUL Bellwether Lawsuits

In 2021, JUUL Labs and its largest investor, Altria Group, tried to dismiss approximately 18 bellwether cases. However, in July 2021, a judge ruled that most of the claims included in the bellwether cases could proceed.

The bellwether plaintiffs include people in their teens and twenties who allege that:

  • JUUL Labs intentionally marketed its products to young people to try to get them addicted to nicotine
  • JUUL Labs failed to warn customers that e-cigarettes are highly addictive
  • JUUL Labs made false claims about the amount of nicotine in JUUL pods
  • JUUL Labs fraudulently marketed its e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes

While the judge dismissed some state law claims and claims regarding strict liability, the judge concluded that many of the legal claims against the JUUL Labs board of directors and Altria Group could proceed. The first JUUL bellwether cases may be heard as early as 2022.

Has Your Child Been Harmed by JUUL?

Now is the time to pursue legal action against JUUL Labs if you or your child has suffered an e-cigarette addiction or related health problem. Your child may have a case if your child suffers addiction or a health problem such as COPD, pneumonia, asthma, or other respiratory issues because:

  • JUUL marketed its products to minors
  • JUUL promoted nicotine use to minors
  • JUUL failed to adequately warn minors of the risks associated with its products

If your child’s claim against JUUL Labs is successful, your child may make a legal recovery for their past and future:

  • Medical costs including hospitalizations, doctors’ visits, medications, respiratory therapy, and other healthcare needs
  • Lost income for any wages, bonuses, raises, benefits, income from self-employment and lost earning capacity incurred because of their JUUL-related health condition
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering experienced due to addiction or JUUL-related health condition

It’s also possible that punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer rather than compensate the injured party. However, the practical effect also includes a higher financial recovery for the plaintiff.

Contact a Mass Tort Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation

Each state, including Massachusetts and the other New England states, gives injured people a limited time to pursue lawsuits. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact our Boston area JUUL injury lawyers as soon as possible for a free, no-obligation consultation.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was the first state to announce an investigation into JUUL marketing tactics in 2018. In 2020, the state filed a lawsuit against JUUL seeking compensation for the public health crisis created by teen vaping. This lawsuit, together with lawsuits brought by other states and school districts, is essential. However, none of them will provide your child with the recovery they deserve.

Instead, your family will need to pursue your own fair recovery. If your child is 18 or older, then your child should file their own lawsuit. If your child is still a minor, then you will need to file a case on your child’s behalf and for your child’s benefit.

We encourage you to learn more about protecting your child’s rights as soon as possible by calling our mass tort lawyers, starting a live chat with us, or completing our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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