On March 14, 2024, U.S. District Judge William Orrick of the Northern District of California issued an order granting final approval to a comprehensive $235 million settlement with Altria in the nationwide JUUL e-cigarette youth vaping predatory advertising, fraud, addiction and injury litigation. Unprecedented in scope, speed, and significance, the global settlement, reached just after plaintiffs concluded their case in the bellwether trial in San Francisco, is the culmination of four years of a vast, unrelenting effort by plaintiffs and their counsel to hold Altria accountable for the 21st century’s ‘cigarettes redux’ youth nicotine plague.

The settlement will resolve all remaining personal injury, consumer class action, and government entity cases brought in the national MDL and the JCCP in California against Altria (the earlier phase of the vast litigation ended in late 2022 when JUUL entered into four substantial coordinated settlements with all plaintiff parties).

The settlement includes over 8,500 personal injury cases, and over 1,400 government entity cases, and a massive class of consumers. “The scope of these suits is beyond vast,” noted Lieff Cabraser partner Sarah R. London, Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in the litigation. “This settlement, in combination with the earlier JUUL settlements, marks a stunning and complete resolution of the JUUL/Altria litigation, and adds substantial additional compensation for victims and their families, get real funds to schools for abatement programs, and help local governments further prevent youth use of e-cigarettes across America.”

About Sarah R. London

A leader in the plaintiffs’ bar, Lieff Cabraser partner Sarah R. London is a determined, skilled, and experienced advocate for the injured. Sarah has risen to national prominence as a result of appointments to and success in leadership roles in multiple pivotal lawsuits, including in recently-filed sexual abuse litigation against Uber as well as in her role as Co-Lead & Liaison Counsel for plaintiffs in the Juul injury/predatory marketing MDL, where her work led to four historic settlements announced in late 2022 with defendant Juul as well as a comprehensive and historic $235 million settlement that was reached between additional defendant Altria and plaintiffs in the midst of a bellwether trial on behalf of the San Francisco Unified School District.

In 2020, Sarah was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the Gilead HIV Drug Kidney & Bone Injuries Litigation, and in 2019, Sarah was named Subclass Settlement Counsel in In re Flint Water Cases. Sarah also served in lead roles in multiple women’s health cases, including as Liaison Counsel in the state court coordinated proceedings involving the destruction of hundreds of frozen eggs and embryos at San Francisco’s Pacific Fertility Center.

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