Hundreds of new JUUL lawsuits have been filed in U.S. courts over the past year. These include individual claims in which plaintiffs blame JUUL’s advertising for misleading them about the addictive nature of the company’s e-cigarettes, as well as class-action claims filed on behalf of school districts and other entities claiming the company should be held liable for damages resulting from an increase in youth vaping.
On October 2, 2019, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all federally filed JUUL lawsuits in the Northern District of California. In a recent case managament conference statement, the parties outlined the status of the case filings and the process for selecting a group of cases to be prepared for early trials.
Number of JUUL Lawsuits Continues to Increase
According to the conference statement, 667 cases are pending in the JUUL MDL, including 539 personal injury cases and 92 government entity cases. Of these, 65 were filed by school districts, 19 by counties, one by a city, and seven by Native American tribes. Also, 158 complaints were pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
The statement indicated there were 11 cases filed by state attorneys general across the country, including those from California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Mississippi, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Massachusetts.
The statement also discusses the appointment of a common benefit special master, the re-filing of amended complaints and motions to dismiss, coordination with antitrust actions, preservation of evidence, and other similar procedural processes.
As for the bellwether selection procedure, the parties were ordered to confer regarding the selection of a group of personal injury plaintiffs. The parties are to submit their joint or competing proposals at the July case management conference…
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