The Anaheim Union High School District is among the latest to file lawsuits against Juul for marketing its e-cigarettes and related products to children, attorneys said Tuesday.
The Anaheim school district's suit was among five filed Monday — bringing to 15 the number of such complaints brought in recent weeks against the San Francisco-based vaping company, which could not immediately be reached for comment regarding the litigation.
Suits were also brought on behalf of the Poway Unified School District, Rocklin Unified School District, Alcanes Union High School District and Monterey Peninsula Unified School District in their respective counties.
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Suits were previously brought on behalf of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the nation, and San Diego Unified, the second-largest district in California, as well as Glendale Unified, Compton Unified, Anaheim Elementary, King City Union, Ceres Unified, Chico Unified, Davis Joint Unified, and the Campbell Union High School District.
The lawsuits allege negligence and nuisance on the part of Juul, claiming its advertising campaigns targeting young people have caused an e-cigarette "epidemic," which has "severely impacted" the school districts by interfering "with normal school operations."
The districts' lawsuits also allege that e-cigarette use has caused then to suffer a financial loss, as they have been forced to spend money on outreach and education programs, vape detectors, video surveillance and staff to monitor e-cigarette use among students.
Student absences due to vaping-related issues have also hurt the districts financially, as student attendance is tied directly to revenue the district receives from the state, according to the lawsuits.
"These fifteen school districts, which represent and serve over one million students across California, are part of a statewide movement to hold Juul accountable for the expenditure of public and taxpayer resources required to respond to the vaping crisis,'' plaintiffs' attorney John Fiske said.
"School districts of all shapes and sizes are standing up for their student communities — from northern, central and southern California, from urban, suburban and rural communities, and from large, medium and small — they are standing up."