JPML Approves Consolidation of JUUL E-Cigarette Lawsuits
Today, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) agreed to consolidate all federally filed JUUL e-cigarette lawsuits into one court for pre-trial proceedings. As the number of JUUL lawsuits continue to rise throughout the country, the JPML felt that a consolidated litigation in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California would be convenient for all parties involved and further efficiency in the judicial process.
Despite attempts to consolidate the litigation in New Jersey, the JPML felt that the Northern District of California was the most appropriate venue for these cases. Because Juul Labs, Inc. is headquartered in that district and key evidence and witnesses are located there, the JPML determined that “the Northern District of California will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation.”
Each JUUL lawsuit shares common questions of fact and law, and so one multidistrict litigation will reduce the burdens of discovery and avoid inconsistent rulings throughout the country. Plaintiffs in these cases allege that JUUL is defective in design and they were misled by JUUL’s deceptive labeling and advertising. In marketing e-cigarettes, JUUL mimicked the tobacco industry’s playbook in targeting and encouraging youth to use their product, misrepresenting or omitting that JUUL products are more potent and addictive than cigarettes, and manipulating the nicotine delivery to create and sustain addiction. Many of the pending cases further detail the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that has plagued minors, adults, families, schools, and communities. Given this substantial overlap, a consolidation of all claims into a single multidistrict litigation is particularly appropriate.
Judge William H. Orrick, an experienced transferee judge, has been assigned to preside over the litigation. Because Judge Orrick has been presiding over many of the pending California actions since they were filed, the JPML felt he was best fit to “steer this litigation on a prudent course.” Following this ruling, all cases pending outside the Northern District of California will be transferred to the Northern District of California and assigned to Judge Orrick for consolidated pretrial proceedings.
Fore more information on the risks and dangers of e-cigarette use, please visit these sites for more information: