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Judge Approves $45M Settlement in Juul E-Cigarette Case

Judge Approves $45M Settlement in Juul E-Cigarette Case

Judge Approves $45M Settlement in Juul E-Cigarette Case

Introduction

A California federal judge has granted preliminary approval for a $45 million settlement between Altria Group and a group of consumers who allege they overpaid for Juul e-cigarettes due to lack of safety awareness.

The settlement is set to benefit consumers who purchased Juul e-cigarettes from either brick-and-mortar stores or online retailers in the U.S. before December 6, 2022. Altria, a former Juul investor, reached this agreement to resolve claims that consumers were misled about the addictiveness and safety of Juul products, as well as their unlawful marketing to minors.

This settlement is part of a broader agreement totaling $235 million, aiming to resolve Juul-related litigation at both federal and state levels. Class members in the settlement will be compensated based on their estimated total spending on Juul products. Those who have already submitted claims for a separate $255 million settlement agreed to by Juul Labs need not submit another claim; instead, their compensation will be augmented by the additional funds from the Altria settlement.

The $255 million settlement with Juul Labs, announced in December 2022, concluded allegations that the company deceptively advertised its products by concealing their addictive nature, targeting consumers, including minors. This agreement marks a significant step in addressing concerns about the marketing and safety practices of e-cigarette companies, particularly in relation to youth consumption and public health.

Earlier the Florida Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs, alleging improper marketing practices targeting children and deceptive information about nicotine content. The lawsuit, filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, seeks civil penalties and an injunction to prevent Juul from marketing to minors and misleading consumers. Allegations include extensive marketing aimed at underage users, product designs appealing to youth, and ineffective age-verification methods.

Juul has responded, citing its efforts to combat underage use, including discontinuing certain products, ending mass-market advertising, and restructuring the company. Juul claims a significant decrease in underage usage as a result of these measures.

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