Juul Labs has Early Approval for Consumer Settlement

Credit: Insurance Journal
  • Judge says the settlement of lawsuits seems ‘fair, reasonable’
  • Specific settlement details were not made public at a court hearing

A U.S. district judge handed Juul Labs Inc on Friday preliminary court approval of a $255 million settlement resolving claims by consumers that it deceptively marketed e-cigarettes, as the company seeks to resolve thousands of lawsuits.

Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said the proposed class action settlement resolving claims by consumers who said they overpaid for Juul’s vaping products was “fair, reasonable, and adequate,” according to a court filing, as reported by Reuters.

Lawyers in the case said they expect to return to the judge in July seeking final approval.

The class action settlement resolves claims by people who say they would have paid less, or not bought the e-cigarettes at all, if Juul had not downplayed the products’ addictiveness and appeal to teenagers through social media campaigns and other means.

The settlement is part of a larger, global agreement by Juul to resolve thousands of lawsuits by school districts, local governments and individuals accusing it of contributing to a youth vaping epidemic.

The company last month said it had reached settlements with about 10,000 plaintiffs covering more than 5,000 cases. It has not said how much it will pay, though the Wall Street Journal reported the deal is valued at $1.7 billion.

Altria Group Inc, Juul Labs’ largest stakeholder, has asked a federal judge to order the e-cigarette manufacturer to turn over details of the settlement claiming the details remain “shrouded in secrecy” even from other parties in the litigation.