San Jose, California – January 23, 2020 – Campbell Union High School District (CUHSD) 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 Santa Clara County Superior Court on January 22, 2020 (Case No. 20CV362049).
The District’s lawsuit was filed on the same day as those filed by the Davis Joint Unified School District and Chico Unified School District and 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 for the same negligence and nuisance claims against JUUL Labs, Inc.
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 staff enforcement needed to monitor the use of e-cigarettes on campus.
“JUUL marketed these dangerous and addictive products to youth without warning,” said CUHSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Bravo. “We are in the business of educating students, not cleaning up JUUL’s health crisis.”
Since entering the market in 2015, JUUL has dominated the e-cigarette industry and now controls over 70 percent of the market. Reports found 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.
Campbell Union High 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.