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Public Health Advocacy Institute

at Northeastern University School of Law

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JUUL Consumer Protection

Colgate et. al v. JUUL Labs, Inc., 3:18-cv-02499-WHO

In April 2018, two JUUL users sued JUUL Labs, Inc. and Pax Labs, Inc. The lawsuit is a class-action, meaning the two named plantiffs are suing on behalf of all similarly situated U.S. JUUL users, and asking a federal court in California to resolve the raised issues for all potential plaintiffs at once, rather than requiring individuals across the states to bring separate cases making the same claims.

Legal Claims                            

Plaintiffs claim that defendant-companies falsely advertised and marketed their products, JUUL e-cigarettes and JUUL pods, leading members to falsely believe that the products: were less addictive than traditional cigs, were no more addictive than any other e-cigarette, could be used without negative health consequences, and that a consumer would be able to stop using and purchasing JUUL anytime. Plaintiffs allege that these misrepresentations misled class members, including minors, into becoming addicted to nicotine, because a consumer would not have bought and used these products had they known the products’ addictiveness. Plaintiffs also claim that defendants falsely marketed, advertised and sold e-cigarette “autoship” services as a “cancel anytime” service, without disclosing the products’ highly addictive nature, thereby interfering with a user’s ability to stop purchasing JUUL products.

The complaint alleges that these misrepresentations violate false advertising, consumer protection and deceptive trade practice statutory laws of the 50 states, as well as the doctrines of common law (judge-made law) fraud, deceit and/or misrepresentation and “unjust enrichment” (i.e., unfairly benefited at the expense of plaintiffs). The complaint requests that the court certify (approve) the plaintiff-class status.

Relief sought

The plaintiffs request the court award them monetary damages to a) compensate them for their resultant injuries/illness, b) deter companies’ future bad conduct, and 3) restore all monies earned by defendants from plaintiff-class. Further, the plaintiffs request a court order prohibiting the sued companies from continuing their alleged false product advertising and marketing.

Last Updated October 2018

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