What's the Lawsuit About
Over 600 school districts in about 30 states, including districts in Washington, are seeking to hold e-cigarette/vaping company Juul (and its major investor, Altria) liable for the unprecedented rise in nicotine use among teens. More specifically, the school districts seek to hold Juul accountable for costs school districts have incurred (or will incur) to prevent, intervene, and educate about nicotine use and addiction due to vaping.
To date, the school districts have prevailed against several motions by Juul to dismiss the claims. The first trial is set for late 2022. At trial, the school districts who participate in the case will seek monetary damages to offset costs related to teen vaping. These damage awards could be used to purchase vape detectors, fund education about nicotine abuse, support intervention by districts, help pay for SROs, or any other creative solution that districts develop to keep kids healthy.
There is no cost to join this lawsuit. The trial lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means the trial lawyers only get paid if districts prevail or obtain a settlement. The contingency fee for the trial lawyers is 20% of an award, which is far less than the typical 40%. Moreover, the Stevens Clay law firm, which represents numerous Washington school districts, has agreed to represent districts that want to join on a pro bono basis (i.e., free). That means there's no additional cost over the 20% contingency fee paid to the trial lawyers.
Getting involved is quick and easy. Each interested district must fill out a short questionnaire, which takes a couple of hours to complete. Most districts will also have their school board authorize participation in the lawsuit. There is no additional work after sign-up.
The window to sign-up is closing. Interested districts should join by end of May to benefit from any award. For more information, see the FAQ or contact the firm today at (509) 838-8330.