NJ Advanced Media reported on September 12, 2019, that a father who bought Juul products for his son starting at age 14, filed a class-action lawsuit against Juul Labs, Inc. in which the father and son are the lead plaintiffs. The lawsuit also names Philip Morris and Altria, and the lawsuit alleges the father and son were both unaware of the adverse health effects with the now 16-year-old teenager addicted to nicotine and suffering from daily coughing and vomiting.
According to NJ Advanced Media, four other young New Jersey residents also filed federal lawsuits against Juul Labs, Inc. within the last month. The same day the NJ Advanced Media story was published, the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reported that three teenagers in South Jersey had also filed separate lawsuits against Juul Labs Inc. in Camden federal court.
A federal judge has issued a stay on one lawsuit that also names Pax Labs Inc., the former owner of Juul, noting that a judicial panel was prepared to consolidate vaping lawsuits from New Jersey and other states.
The 12-count lawsuit filed by the father and son that includes allegations of fraud, failure to warn, violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. A class-action lawsuit filed against Juul Labs, Inc., Altria Group Inc., and Philip Morris USA Inc. in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in April 2019 was based on seven causes of action.
The Florida lawsuit alleged that Juul became an enterprise, subjecting it to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, when it entered into an agreement with Altria in December 2018 and used mail, telephone, internet, and interstate commerce to market to children. The lawsuit also claimed Juul committed fraud by advertising its products as being non-addictive or less addictive than cigarettes.
Product liability claims relating to failure to warn and design defects were also included in the Florida action, as was a negligence claim based on Juul’s failure to prevent its product from being marketed or sold to minors. The Florida lawsuit also alleges that Juul was unjustly enriched at the expense of its users because of its unlawful and deceptive practices, and the company had violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
USA Today reported that over 20 similar lawsuits are pending in federal courts all over the United States.
A 2018 advisory issued by Surgeon General of the United StatesPublic Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, noted that e-cigarette use among middle and high school students in the United States increased 900 percent between 2011 and 2015 before declining although current use increased among high school students from 11.7 percent in 2017 to 20.8 percent in 2018. More than 3.6 million American youth were estimated to be using e-cigarettes in 2018.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)reported that 13.2 percent of teenagers said nicotine was in their e-cigarette, but 5.8 percent said marijuana, 13 percent did not know, 1.3 percent said something other, and 66 percent said their electronic cigarettes contained “just flavoring.” According to NIDA, 30.7 percent of teenage users of electronic cigarettes begin smoking real cigarettes within six months as opposed to only 8.1 percent of non-users.
NIDA also found that seven in 10 teens are exposed to electronic cigarette ads. The following is a breakdown of the advertisements and their reach among this demographic:
- Retail ads were viewed by 56.3 percent of high school students and 52.8 percent of middle school students
- Internet ads were seen by 42.9 percent of high school students and 35.8 percent of middle school students
- Television or movie ads were viewed by 38.4 percent of high school students and 34.1 percent of middle school students
- Newspaper and magazine ads were seen by 34.6 percent of high school students and 25.0 percent of middle school students.
Contact a Juul Lawyer Today
If you or your loved one have been harmed due to Juul’s dangerous products and deceptive marketing, you could be owed significant compensation from the company. You will want to know whether it is in your best interest to join or file a class-action lawsuit or possibly participate in multidistrict litigation (MDL).
The founder of Hammack Law Firm has nearly two decades of experience as a litigator on both sides of the courtroom. We can answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (864) 479-8867 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.