School districts spread across the Bay Area have filed litigation in San Francisco’s federal district court against Juul Labs, Inc. for its targeting of minors. These Bay Area school districts are joining other school districts across the country, as well as a number of parents and youth, to challenge Juul’s practices of marketing vaping products to minors.
The lawsuits seek damages for marketing efforts that specifically targeted youth under the age of 18 with advertising and messaging designed to appeal to minors. The districts also hope to change Juul’s marketing practices that encourage youth to become addicted to their products.
As of December 17, San Francisco Unified School District, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, three school districts in San Mateo County (Cabrillo Unified School District, San Mateo-Foster City School District and Jefferson Union High School District) and the San Mateo County Office of Education and Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee had filed litigation. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California will handle these cases, in addition to the array of other litigation filed by school districts, parents and students across the country.
“We still do not know the extent of vaping’s health consequences for our kids, but we know the results are serious,” said Dr. Kelly Bowers, Superintendent of Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. “Educators see the impact of Juul’s teen-focused marketing efforts firsthand every day. Our schools must hold Juul accountable for misleading the children we serve.”
The lawsuits have been filed by the Renne Public Law Group (RPLG), a boutique public interest law firm co-founded by Louise Renne. RPLG joins a coalition of law firms that includes Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP; Migliaccio & Rathod, LLP; and Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP, as well as counsel for the districts, to challenge Juul and big tobacco.
“Big tobacco tried to hook our kids on cigarettes years ago, and now they’re at it again. Juul’s focused efforts to create a generation of vaping addicts with marketing that targets children is unacceptable,” said Ms. Renne. “We are proud to support the educators that sit on the front lines of this health crisis created by Juul. We are united in our commitment to the health of our children.”
RPLG practices throughout California, advising and advocating for public agencies, nonprofit entities, individuals and private entities in need of effective, responsive and creative legal solutions.