“Who is better positioned than a superintendent of schools to take a stand on this issue?”

Who, indeed? “School districts are at the head of a cresting wave of litigation against JUUL and other e-cigarette manufacturers, seeking to recover the costs of prevention programs, counseling, and treatment for addicted students. Nearly 100 districts have sued.” [Stephen Sawchuk and Denisa Superville, Education Week]


  • Not a lawyer; can anyone explain how a district have damages, or standing on behalf of those allegedly damaged(the students) to file suit.

    • They were claiming things like the cost of anti-vaping programs, installing security cameras, and hiring tutors for students suspended for vaping. So, at least it’s costs actually incurred by the districts and not the students.

      • Well, yes, costs incurred by the school district which have nothing to do with education…possibly at the urging of their attorneys, in order to give them a basis for claiming damages.

  • I fail to see any sort of legal recourse here. Granted, I am a teacher and not a lawyer, but it would seem to me that the schools are grasping at straws. As it is, the products are only legally sold to adults (18+ and, now, 21+). If a legal, age-restricted, product is causing problems in the schools, shouldn’t the liability fall on the people providing said product to underage consumers? How is this JUUL’s fault?

    • @Sebastian:
      Good question. However, despite the age restriction on legal sale of such products to those persons who are underage, it is still reasonably foreseeable that the products will still be sold to underage persons, or, provided to underage persons by persons who legally acquired them. Persons who sold or provided the products to underage persons can, also, be joined as defendants. However, unless they have insurance coverage or assets worth locating, seizing and selling to satisfy a judgment, such persons are usually not joined as Defendants. Plaintiffs will be looking for evidence that despite the age restriction, the manufacturers nonetheless were marketing to underage persons.

      Similar issues arose in some of the opioid litigation now ongoing. The product develop groups of the pharmaceutical companies had all sorts of guidelines about who were the intended patients. However, correspondence, emails, marketing strategy documents, etc. from the marketing groups showed that they intended to Sell!, Sell! Sell! as much as possible whether or not the pain medications were appropriate and/or addictive. The vaping products contain nicotine which is known to be highly addictive. While much better than smoking tobacco products from a health perspective, there are still various adverse consequences to use, especially by younger persons whose brains are still developing. So, if it is found that the marketing groups for the vape manufacturers took the approach of We Know It’s Addictive, but Sell!, Sell! Sell! to whoever can pay, that will likely result in liability.

      • ” it is still reasonably foreseeable that the products will still be sold to underage persons, or, provided to underage persons by persons who legally acquired them. ”

        The idea that such is enough for liability to stretch back to the manufacturer is male bovine excrement.

        • Matt, you are correct, “foreseeability” is the worst doctrine in American jurisprudence. Unfortunately it is widely used.