The Cajon Valley Union School District has joined 17 other California school districts in filing lawsuits against Juul for marketing its e-cigarettes and related products to children, attorneys said 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.
Cajon Valley Union’s suit is one of three filed by San Diego County school districts, joining San Diego and Poway Unified.
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 school districts are also seeking compensatory damages to offset financial losses the districts allege resulted from vaping-related student absences, as well as extensive costs the districts incurred 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.”
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.”
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