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Juul settles thousands of lawsuits for undisclosed amount

Juul said it has settled more than 5,000 lawsuits involving some 10,000 plaintiffs on Tuesday. File Photo by sarahj1/Pixabay
Juul said it has settled more than 5,000 lawsuits involving some 10,000 plaintiffs on Tuesday. File Photo by sarahj1/Pixabay

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Juul Labs has agreed to settle more than 5,000 lawsuits filed against it in Northern California, the embattled e-cigarette maker said, as it moves to end litigation concerning the marketing of its products to minors.

Juul said in a Tuesday statement that the settlement covers multidistrict litigation brought against it by some 10,000 plaintiffs and represents "a major step toward strengthening Juul Labs' operations and securing the company's path forward to fulfill its mission to transition adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes."

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The settlement amount was not disclosed, but Juul officials said they have secured an equity investment to fund the resolution.

The announcement comes after it reached a $438.5 million settlement in September with 33 states and Puerto Rico following an investigation that found Juul's packaging was misleading and that it repeatedly targeted minors on social media.

On Tuesday, several state attorneys general, including those for Maryland, Virginia, Indiana and Nebraska, announced they had joined the bipartisan coalition.

Counsel for the plaintiffs said more than three years of litigation preceded Tuesday's multidistrict settlement, which they believe is in the best interest of all clients.

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They said it builds on previous settlements to provide financial relief to plaintiffs as well as mandates that Juul change its marketing practices, including prohibitions on marketing to minors and ceasing the sale of flavors that haven't been signed off by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"The scope of these suits is enormous," Sara London, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. "These settlements will put meaningful compensation in hands of victims and their families, get real funds to schools for abatement programs and help government and tribal entities prevent youth use of e-cigarettes across the U.S."

Juul said that over the past year it has settled with 37 states and territories and is currently engaged in resolving other litigation.

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