Juul Secures Cash Infusion To Avoid Bankruptcy

 Juul Secures Cash Infusion To Avoid Bankruptcy
Fri, 11/11/2022 - 21:38

Juul Labs Inc. has secured a cash infusion from some of its early investors to avoid bankruptcy and plans to lay off roughly one-third of its global workforce, according to company officials.

The beleaguered e-cigarette manufacturer had been preparing for a possible chapter 11 filing amid a dispute with federal regulators over whether its products could remain on the market in the United States.

With the new funding, Juul announced to employees that it has halted its bankruptcy proceedings and is working on a cost-cutting program. According to company officials, Juul intends to lay off 400 people and cut its operating budget by 30% to 40%.

The investment agreement is the first component of a bailout package being discussed with two of Juul's largest investors. According to previous reports, Juul was in talks with the two longtime board members about a lifeline for the company.

The investment and restructuring plans, according to Juul, are a step forward. According to the company, the goal of the fundraising is to put Juul on a more solid financial footing so that it can stay in business, pursue its dispute with the Food and Drug Administration, and continue product development and scientific research.

The investment terms could not be learned. Other early investors may also contribute, according to the company. According to people familiar with the situation, a second part of the bailout is being discussed, which could cover short-term legal liabilities.

According to people familiar with the matter, the same two board members refinanced a Juul term loan of $300 million to $500 million in late September. According to the people, Juul refinanced that debt because the terms of the previous loan required Juul to keep a large amount of cash on hand, and the company needed to access more of its cash.

Juul vaporizers, which quickly became a teen status symbol, upended the tobacco market in 2018. Legislators and parents have blamed the startup for an increase in underage vaping. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Juul, alleging that it marketed to children and teenagers. Juul has stated that it has never targeted underage users. The company ceased sales of its sweet and fruity flavours in the United States, as well as much of its advertising in the country. It is no longer one of the most popular e-cigarette brands among teenagers.

The first bellwether trial, brought by the San Francisco Unified School District, was scheduled to begin this month but was postponed on Wednesday until April. A personal injury case brought by the mother of a minor is set to begin in January in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

The FDA ordered Juul's products off the market in June, then suspended the ban pending Juul's appeal. The company's sales have since slowed. The ban's uncertainty has made it difficult for Juul to obtain financing to fund its operations and legal settlements.

Alabama Cities To Get $44M From Walmart Over Opioid Crisis

Alabama Cities To Get $44M From Walmart Over Opioid Crisis
Fri, 11/11/2022 - 18:12

Alabama Attorney General informed that Walmart has agreed to a $44.2 million settlement with 270 Alabama town, city, and county governments regarding the effects of opioid addiction.

The settlement is the fifth of its kind, negotiated on behalf of the government entities by the attorney general's office. It is unclear how much money will be distributed to each government entity. Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile are among the cities on the list, as are Ashland, Camp Hill, Sipsey, and Yellow Bluff.

Walmart has denied any allegations of improper opioid distribution through its pharmacies. The AG's office also acknowledged Walmart's efforts to monitor opioid prescription dispensing.

Walmart will pay the government $35.7 million for opioid abatement, $3 million for technological improvements in Alabama's local court system, and $5.5 million in attorney fees, according to the agreement. Marshall stated that the technology funding will benefit district and circuit courts that have been hit hard by the effects of opioid addiction.

According to the attorney general, many of Alabama's cities and counties have been devastated by an opioid epidemic that began with prescription opioids and has progressed to illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.

The attorney general also stated that fentanyl and other opioids were identified as the top drug threat in Alabama this year. The agreement with Walmart will provide an additional funding stream to our communities, providing immediate assistance in their fight against addiction and overdose.

Seven opioid-related defendants have been sued by the attorney general, which will need the defendants to pay more than $300 million as settlements to the state and local governments.

Full Review Of 11th Cir. Ruling Sought By Monsanto

Full Review Of 11th Cir. Ruling Sought By Monsanto
Mon, 11/07/2022 - 20:39

An Eleventh Circuit panel revised but did not overturn a previous ruling that federal law does not preempt a Georgia doctor's claim that Monsanto failed to warn people about the alleged cancer risks of its Roundup weedkiller, rejecting pharmaceutical and business groups' claims that the decision would disrupt distributors.

The agrichemical behemoth was joined in court by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and the Products Liability Advisory Council, which filed an amicus brief in August asking the Eleventh Circuit to hear the case en banc and reverse its July decision.

The groups argued in their brief that the Eleventh Circuit's opinion and "force of law" analysis threaten to upend federal preemption law, wreak havoc on manufacturers and distributors of federally regulated products, and create "dramatic uncertainty" for other federal schemes governing the labelling of thousands of products.

The court reiterated its finding on Friday in a rehearing by the panel that decided the case that only federal action with the force of law has the capacity to preempt state law, and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's pesticide registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act is not sufficiently formal to carry the force of law.

Various EPA documents, including label registration and review decisions and papers in which EPA concluded that glyphosate, Roundup's main ingredient, does not cause cancer, that Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG, had pointed to, suggest that it could not label Roundup as carcinogenic without consequences from the agency.

The Eleventh Circuit also ruled that those documents do not amount to legislative activity that would naturally bind Monsanto. Monsanto had asked the court to reconsider the decision en banc, claiming that it contradicted prior Supreme Court decisions. The company stated that it will seek a full court review of the revised decision once more.