BY: Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller | IN: Class Action & Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury
As legislators, regulators, and public health officials increase their scrutiny of JUUL Labs, Inc., and other e-cigarette manufacturers, individuals across the country continue to file lawsuits against these companies for the addictions, illnesses, and injuries their products continue to cause. Now, scores of such suits that are currently pending in courts across the country will proceed together under the supervision of one judge in Northern California.
On October 2, the Federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) entered an order consolidating all pending federal cases against JUUL and directing that the cases proceed before U.S. District Judge William Orrick of the Northern District of California.
When waves of lawsuits arise against the same defendants and share the same or similar underlying facts, issues, or claims, parties to the suits can seek to have discovery and all pretrial matters proceed together before one judge. The MDL panel will centralize cases when doing so would be to the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation. The panel that issued the order granting JUUL’s request for consolidation selected the Northern District of California as the venue for the consolidated action because JUUL is headquartered there and most of the key witnesses and evidence are located in that district.
As noted in the order, all of the cases against JUUL, some of which are individual personal injury lawsuits and others that are putative class actions, allege that:
Since many of these lawsuits were first filed, the issues with JUUL and other e-cigarettes have only grown in scope and severity. While the allegations in the consolidated litigation focus on JUUL’s deceptive marketing and nicotine addiction, it is now clear that e-cigarettes and vaping are also behind an epidemic of respiratory problems, seizures, and other health conditions that can and have led to serious illness or death.
As of early October 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1,080 probable cases of vaping-related illnesses across 48 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as 18 confirmed deaths related to e-cigarette use. The CDC has warned that the number of vaping cases are rising at a “brisk pace” and involve “really serious injuries.”
If you or your child is suffering from health problems after vaping or using JUUL and other e-cigarettes, you may have a claim for compensation. Sommers Schwartz, a nationally recognized personal injury and class action law firm, is currently investigating and pursuing JUUL and e-cigarette injury, illness, and wrongful death claims on behalf of individuals and families who fell victim to these dangerous and deceptively marketed products. Those claims we pursue and lawsuits we file after the entry of the MDL order can become part of the consolidated case.
Please contact us to arrange for your free initial consultation.
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Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller focuses her practice on medical malpractice, automobile negligence, and general negligence litigation on behalf injured plaintiffs.