Final Approval of settlement granted in Juul Labs youth vaping litigation

September 28, 2023
Teens celebrating

Keller Rohrback is proud to recognize its Juul Labs litigation team for securing Final Approval of the Juul Nationwide Class Action Settlement, which was approved on September 19, 2023. This order was the last remaining hurdle before the Government Entity, Personal Injury, and Class Action settlements could be funded. Led by Keller Rohrback partner Dean Kawamoto, who was appointed to serve as Co-Lead Counsel of In re: Juul Labs, Inc., Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2913 in the Northern District of California, the team secured the settlements  after more than three years of hard-fought litigation prompted by the public health crisis of youth vaping and nicotine addiction.The Juul Labs defendants agreed to create a global settlement program to settle the government entity, tribal, personal injury, and class action claims on the eve of the first bellwether trial involving Juul Labs, its individual founders and directors and Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris.  The total settlement amount is confidential, but the Court approved the class settlement with a value of $255 million designated to compensate purchasers of the JUUL product. While Juul Labs and the individual defendants settled late last year, Altria elected to proceed to trial as the sole defendant in a case involving the San Francisco Unified School District.  During the course of a three week trial, and after plaintiff had rested its case in chief, Altria agreed to globally settle claims against it for $235 million, $45 million of which is reserved for class claims, and that settlement has reached preliminary approval. Judge William H. Orrick, who granted the Juul Labs final approval, commented that he was “very impressed with lawyering in the case and impressed with the settlement of the case.” The government entity portion of the settlement will result in substantial funds being made available to local governments to deal with the youth vaping crisis, and the King County health department has characterized its recovery as a “game changer” in terms of anti-vaping and tobacco control programs. 

Congratulations to the entire team for this worthy accomplishment!