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E-cigarette maker Juul reaches settlement with nearly 10,000 plaintiffs

E-cigarette maker Juul reaches settlement with nearly 10,000 plaintiffs © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Juul e-cigarettes are seen on the counter of a vape store in Santa Monica, California, U.S., June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

(Reuters) – E-cigarette maker Juul Labs on Tuesday said it has reached settlements with about 10,000 plaintiffs covering more than 5,000 cases in California.

Juul did not disclose the settlement amount as part of the settlement and court process in the federal multidistrict litigation and related JUUL Labs Product Cases. The company has obtained equity investment to fund it, a spokeperson told Reuters in a statement.

Philip Federico, a lawyer representing 60 school districts in the United States in the litigation against Juul, said the settlement is a “tremendous victory for school districts burdened by the vaping epidemic”, adding that funds from it will allow school districts to recover the costs of combating the epidemic.

Partly owned by Altria Group (NYSE:) Inc, Juul had in September agreed to pay $438.5 million to settle claims by 34 U.S. states and territories that it downplayed its products’ risks and targeted underage buyers.

In November, Juul said it had secured an investment from some of its early investors that will keep the e-cigarette maker in business, also planning to lay off about 400 people and reducing operating budget by 30% to 40%.

The company’s e-cigarettes were briefly banned in the country in late June, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that it had failed to show that the sale of its products would be appropriate for public health.

But following an appeal, the health regulator put the ban on hold and agreed to an additional review of Juul’s marketing application.

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