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School District Could Sue E-Cigarette Giant

Courtesy of Juul Labs
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Palm Beach County school leaders on Wednesday will consider filing a lawsuit against Juul Labs, the nation’s top electronic-cigarette company, over costs of combating the “epidemic of youth vaping” on school campuses. 

If the school board moves forward with the lawsuit, the Palm Beach County district would become the latest in a series of districts that have joined forced to sue Juul.

“Schools are continuing to struggle to contain this harmful and dangerous behavior and have been forced to divert resources to monitoring and disciplining the rapidly growing number of students using vaping products on school grounds,” the Palm Beach County district said in a statement Tuesday.

School board officials are considering retaining two law firms, Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP and The Maher Law Firm, on a contingency-fee basis, meaning lawyers would only receive money if the case is won.

The potential move by Palm Beach County school leaders comes after Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said her office will investigate more than 20 companies, including Juul, to look at how they market and sell electronic cigarettes.

Under Florida law, it is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to anyone under age 18, Moody said. But a report released in April by the Florida Department of Health indicated that about 25 percent of high-school students in 2018 said they vaped.

The lawsuit being considered by the Palm Beach school board would look at “damages arising out of the marketing, distribution, and sale of electronic cigarettes and vaping products to students,” according to the board’s agenda item.