As reported by Law360 (subscription), on April 13, 2021, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of the Northern District of California issued an order denying the second wave of defendant motions to dismiss the cases outright in multidistrict injury and fraudulent advertising litigation against e-cigarette manufacturer Juul and its part-owner Altria. The complaints allege the companies deliberately and deceptively marketed their devices to addict underage teens to nicotine, in the process unleashing a nationwide youth vaping epidemic.

Altria Group Inc., which holds a 35% stake in Juul, filed the motions to dismiss on the basis that the plaintiffs hadn’t sufficiently alleged its purported role in and control of Juul. But Judge Orrick wrote in his order that the plaintiff school districts, Native American tribes, and municipal governments in the MDL posited a plausible and sufficient theory for their Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) Act claims to proceed.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lieff Cabraser partner Sarah London and co-counsel.

Read the full article on Law360’s (subscription) site.

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