The Cajon Valley Union School District has filed a lawsuit against JUUL Labs, Inc. -- joining 17 other California school districts -- for the company’s role in cultivating what they call an e-cigarette epidemic that disrupts the education and learning environment across their district, attorneys announced Tuesday.
The suit is one of several recently filed against the San Francisco-based vaping company, which could not immediately be reached for comment regarding the litigation.
The lawsuits allege negligence and nuisance on the part of Juul, claiming its advertising campaigns targeting young people have caused an e-cigarette "epidemic," which has "severely impacted" the school districts by interfering "with normal school operations."
The lawsuit points to advertisements with flashy colors and young people "enthusiastically puffing on JUULs" in media publications directed toward younger audiences.
The school districts are also seeking compensatory damages to offset financial losses the districts allege resulted from vaping-related student absences.
The districts also claim they have incurred expensive costs to establish outreach and education programs regarding vaping and enforcement infrastructure such as vape detectors, surveillance systems and extra staff to monitor e-cigarette use among students.
"The youth vaping epidemic created by Juul has significant costs," said John Fiske, shareholder for plaintiff's attorneys Baron & Budd. "These 18 school districts represent and serve over 1 million students and have taken on an extreme financial burden in order to try and stop the pervasive vaping on their campuses and keep their students safe.''
The plaintiffs' attorneys claim Juul controls more than 70 percent of the e-cigarette market and has grown rapidly due to targeting school-age children.
"Holding Juul accountable for its deceitful marketing practices targeting our youth is the first of many steps in rectifying the damage created by the e-cigarette manufacturer," said Rahul Ravipudi, partner at law firm Panish, Shea and Boyle, LLP.
"We're ready to see this fight through until justice is served."
Read the full lawsuit in the window below or click here.
The district is represented by Baron & Budd, P.C. and Panish, Shea, & Boyle, LLP.