April 17 update - Juul settles with Minnesota
Today, Minnesota announced it has reached an agreement to settle its lawsuit against Juul Labs. The announcement came immediately after final arguments in the three-week trial of the case. Terms of the settlement will not be available for 30 days, according to Reuters.
Minnesota becomes the 46th state to reach a settlement with Juul.
May 17 update
Minnesota settled with Juul Labs for $60.5 million, according to AP.
Juul Labs has settled lawsuits with six states, including California and New York, for $462 million, leaving just five states that haven’t agreed to terms with the vape manufacturer. The lawsuits contended that Juul intentionally marketed its nicotine-containing product to underage customers.
The settlement announced today included agreements with California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, and the District of Columbia. On Monday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his state had settled with Juul for $7.9 million.
In addition to cash payments, Juul Labs has also agreed to a number of sales and marketing restrictions, according to New York State Attorney General Letitia James—most of which the company has practiced for several years. These include:
Additionally, former Juul Labs directors and executives Adam Bowen, Hoyoung Huh, James Monsees, Nicholas Pritzker, and Riaz Valani—and any businesses they control that sell nicotine products—are also bound by the terms of the agreement with Juul.
James says New York State’s share of the settlement, $112.7 million paid over eight years, will be spent on “underage vaping abatement programs.” New York State sued Juul in 2019.
Including today’s announced payments, Juul has agreed to pay almost $3 billion in legal settlements in the last two years. However, if the FDA refuses to authorize Juul Labs’ flagship JUUL pod vape and its refill pods, the settling parties will be left fighting over scraps. The company is struggling to maintain its financial footing—and relevance.
The states and other entities that have reached agreements with Juul Labs are now in the awkward position of rooting for the company to succeed in order to fulfill its obligations to them. If Juul fails, they won’t collect their hard-earned millions.
In June 2021, North Carolina became the first state to settle its lawsuit with Juul Labs. Arizona, Louisiana and Washington State followed. Last September, 33 states (and Puerto Rico) settled with the company for a total of $439 million. Two months later, Juul agreed to a $38.8 million settlement with Pennsylvania. Iowa soon followed, collecting $5 million.
Juul also agreed last December to pay $1.7 billion to settle more than 10 thousand lawsuits brought by individuals, municipalities, school districts and American Indian tribes on a variety of grounds.
By our count, that leaves Alaska, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri as the last states with active litigation against Juul Labs. Minnesota has actually gone to trial against the vape company—the only state so far to do so.