Vaping Settlement by Juul Is Said to Total $1.7 Billion
Juul Labs has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle more than 5,000 lawsuits by school districts, local governments and individuals who claimed that its e-cigarettes were more addictive than advertised, according to people with knowledge of the deal.
The amount for the deal, 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 had targeted young people. States investigating the company bristled at ads featuring young models and fruit and dessert flavors that appealed to adolescents. The resulting settlement restricted Juul from aiming marketing of its products at young people.
Full terms of the settlement, reached earlier this week, have not been disclosed. But Juul has repeatedly denied targeting minors and has not admitted wrongdoing in reaching other agreements with plaintiffs.
Juul continues to sell its products in the United States while awaiting a decision by the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates e-cigarettes. In June, the agency denied the company’s application to allow its vapes and pods to remain on the market. Juul went to court and received a temporary reprieve; the F.D.A. then put its decision on hold for further review, which is continuing.
The new settlement does not put an end to claims against Altria, which owned a 35 percent stake in Juul, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs. The agreement does not offer funds immediately, but will open up a claims process for the 10,000 plaintiffs to apply for distribution of the funds.