BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District Schools is joining more than 1300 other school districts in a class action lawsuit against Juul Labs Inc.
They’re accusing the e-cigarette manufacturer of creating a teenage nicotine epidemic by designing, marketing and selling its products to minors.
“This is your chance to sue the bad guys,” Lawyer Joel Wright said.
A number of school districts have been frustrated with vaping in their schools for the last few years now, Bay District Schools agreed to join the lawsuit against Juul during Tuesday’s board meeting.
Joel Wright, a lawyer involved in the litigation, spoke with board members during the meeting.
“Our group of law firms connected with some of these larger school districts and said this reminds us of the opioid epidemic they know what they are doing they know they are causing tremendous harm and they don’t care cause they are making a lot of money from it, so several school districts signed up, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Palm Beach Florida, and we filed this lawsuit,” Wright said.
Not only is vaping a distraction in schools but, more importantly, young kids are becoming addicted at a very young age.
“Juul took nicotine, took vaping and they invented basically what they call the iPhone of vaping,” Wright said. “They made it very simple, they made it convenient and added a number of extraordinary flavors, they were extremely popular with kids.”
In 2018, Philip Morris bought a third of Juul for $13 billion.
Wright said the team of lawyers also filed a RICO claim, meaning that everyone that has made a profit from Juul will be held liable.
“It is an enormous problem in the schools,” BDS Attorney Franklin Harrison said. “It is something the administrators and teachers have to deal with on a constant basis all over the nation. They can go in the bathrooms, in the cars, in the hallways, anywhere and use it and we have to control all of that and try to discipline them and it is just besides that is an awful thing for our kids to get involved in.”
The trial is set to begin on November 4.