Lieff Cabraser partner Mark P. Chalos spoke recently with Education Week for the article “School Districts Are Suing JUUL Over Youth Vaping. Do They Stand a Chance?” on the role districts will play in the huge wave of litigation against e-cigarette manufacturer, Juul. For their part, school districts seek to recover the costs of smoking prevention programs, counseling, and treatment for addicted students – the same students JUUL allegedly targeted with their fraudulent and predatory vaping ad campaigns.
Nearly 100 school districts have sued Juul and other manufacturers of vaping devices and the filings signal that the epidemic of youth vaping has infiltrated all sectors of the nation’s public education system—from small, rural districts to the largest urban school systems.
Education Week notes that vaping was enough of a priority for districts that it was a topic of a session at the most recent national conference for AASA, the School Superintendents’ Association, at which Chalos recently spoke. (Lieff Cabraser serves as co-lead counsel in the national federal JUUL marketing fraud and injury litigation.)
Chalos said that he expects more lawsuits to be filed, but he thinks school boards, superintendents, parents, and district officials are only beginning to grasp the tremendous negative impacts of vaping on younger Americans.
“I think we are at a relatively early stage in the awareness being raised on this issue,” Chalos said. “Unless we can stem the tide of the vaping crisis, we’re going to see more children vaping, and more teachers and school administrators and parents will become aware of [the potentially deadly consequences]. Whether that results in more school boards or parents or children participating in the civil justice system remains to be seen.”
As with any civil litigation, Education Week notes, higher filing numbers amp up the pressure on companies to reach a settlement .There are definite signs that the litigation is still expanding.
About Mark Chalos
The managing partner of Lieff Cabraser’s Nashville office, Mark Chalos represents individuals who have suffered catastrophic personal injuries and families whose loved ones died due to the negligence or misconduct of others. Mark represents counties and cities across the U.S. as well as Native American tribes and health organizations in the national opioids litigation. He is serving as part of the national case leadership in these cases, including preparing bellwether cases for trial.
Through jury trials, Chalos has held wrong-doers accountable, including representing 32 school children who were videotaped undressing in their school locker room ($1.28 million jury verdict) and a young woman who suffered a severe brain injury in a car wreck (nearly $4 million jury verdict). He also obtained an $8 million arbitration award on behalf of a business client, and overall has obtained millions of dollars in settlements for families who have been harmed by wrongful conduct.