(From Press Relaese – DJUSD) – Davis Joint Unified School District filed a lawsuit against JUUL Labs, Inc. for the company’s role in cultivating and fostering an e-cigarette epidemic that disrupts the education and learning environment across the District. The suit was filed in the Yolo County Superior Court on January 22, 2020 (Case No. CV20-93).
The District’s lawsuit was filed on the same day as those filed by the Chico Unified School District and Campbell Union High School District.
The District’s lawsuit follows those filed by the Los Angeles Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, Glendale Unified School District, Compton Unified School District, King City Union School District, Ceres Unified School District and Anaheim Elementary School District, all against JUUL for the same negligence and nuisance claims.
The lawsuit seeks injunction and abatement to stop the e-cigarette epidemic, which has severely impacted the District by interfering with normal school operations. The District also seeks compensatory damages to provide relief from the District’s financial losses as a result of students being absent from school, coordinating outreach and education programs regarding the health risks of vaping, and enforcement actions such as staff to monitor the school’s property in an effort to combat the e-cigarette crisis.
“Davis Joint Unified is holding JUUL accountable for marketing dangerous products to youth, which has, in turn, wasted resources intended for education,” said District Superintendent John Bowes. “Our students and community deserve better.”
Since entering the market in 2015, JUUL has dominated the e-cigarette industry and now controls over 70% of the market. Reports found that in 2018, 4.9 million middle and high school students used tobacco products, with 3.6 million of those students using e-cigarettes. From 2017 to 2018, youth e-cigarette users increased by 1.5 million. That growth is largely based on JUUL’s market strategy, which is to target school-age children to ensure the continual growth of their consumer base.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the 2018 spike in nicotine vaping was the largest for any substance recorded in 44 years. JUUL’s aggressive, strategic marketing and product designs not only create an addiction crisis among youth consumers, but also a widespread burden on school districts.
Davis Joint Unified School District is represented by John P. Fiske and Torri Sherlin of Baron & Budd, P.C. and Brian Panish and Rahul Ravipudi of Panish, Shea, & Boyle, LLP.