Juul Labs has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle more than 5,000 lawsuits from school districts, local governments and individuals who claim its e-cigarettes are more addictive than advertised, according to people with knowledge of the situation. ‘OK.
The settlement amount, which involves a consolidation of cases centered in Northern California, is more than three times the sum reported for other Juul settlements in other state and local cases thus far.
The settlement amount was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.
In September, the company agreed to pay $438.5 million to settle a multistate investigation into whether the company targeted young people. States investigating the company bristled with ads featuring young models and fruit and dessert flavors that appealed to teenagers. The resulting settlement prevented Juul from targeting the marketing of its products to young people.
Full terms of the settlement, reached earlier this week, were not disclosed. But Juul has repeatedly denied targeting minors and has not admitted wrongdoing in reaching further settlements with the plaintiffs.
Juul continues to sell its products in the United States pending a decision from the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates e-cigarettes. In June, the agency denied the company’s request to allow its vapes and pods to remain on the market. Juul went to court and received a temporary reprieve; the FDA then suspended its decision for further review, which is ongoing.
The new settlement does not end claims against Altria, which held a 35% stake in Juul, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys. The agreement does not offer funds immediately, but will open a claims process allowing the 10,000 plaintiffs to seek distribution of funds.
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