Palm Beach School District Files Lawsuit Against JUUL
The Palm Beach County School District has joined the growing number of school districts that have filed lawsuits against the vapor cigarette company JUUL to offset the costs of combating vaping. The lawsuit seeks “direct and consequential” compensation for “economic injuries” suffered as a result of “dealing with the vaping epidemic”.
Palm Beach County is the latest in a growing number of lawsuits seeking economic compensation from JUUL and other vapor cigarette manufacturers. The lawsuits claim that JUUL marketed their products to teens by flavoring the juices with candy-like flavorings. It further accuses these companies of using the same tactics that traditional tobacco companies used years earlier when marketing their products to teens.
Survey Says: Vape Use Among Teens Rose
The lawsuit also states that during the period of time that JUUL was the dominant distributor of vapor cigarette products, use among high school students and middle school students rose 78% and 48% respectively. The survey conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was released in February. JUUL launched its first vapor product in 2010.
Plaintiffs claim that the shape of the JUUL cigarette is similar to a USB memory stick and that gratuitous flashing lights appeal to teens. They further claim that these style choices are meant to make the product appeal to youths.
In response to the lawsuit, JUUL has ceased production of flavored products and shut down their social media accounts.
Where are the Damages?
In order to have standing in a product liability lawsuit (or any civil suit), a plaintiff must show real and specific damages. For instance, when someone is injured in a car accident, they have the costs related to repairing their car and injuries to themselves and their passengers. Thus far, however, no school district has been able to show that they have made any expenditure to combat the use of vapor cigarettes in their schools. This, of course, represents a major problem for the plaintiffs.
The lawsuits state that significant numbers of students who vape will result in concerted efforts to combat vapor use. Of course, these efforts will be identical to anti-smoking campaigns in the past as well as DARE programs that have remained largely useless for combating much of anything.
School districts counter that they were “forced” to create a “night class” for students suspended for vaping. School districts also claim that they were required to amend their code of conduct to specifically prohibit vaping.
Lawsuits like these don’t generally have much merit. Meanwhile, they’re muddying the waters for those who actually have valid complaints against the company. While nicotine use among teenagers is a serious problem that legislatures and parents should be looking at, in order to prove negligence, you must have real money damages. Diverting efforts from an already extant detention program to deal with a specific cause doesn’t seem like it rises to the level of economic injury.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re a person who has suffered some legitimate injury from vaping, the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. are more than happy to try your case. Talk to us today for a free consultation.