NEW WILMINGTON — Wilmington Area School Board is considering joining a class action lawsuit against Juul, manufacturer of electronic vaping devices.
School board solicitor Michael Bonner said Tuesday at the board’s work session that he is partnering with a Philadelphia law firm that is identifying clients who may be interested in joining a multi-district litigation class action lawsuit.
“Juul has been targeting youths and this has affected children in the community,” he said.
Bonner said youth were targeted by the company’s marketing campaign, which featured attractive flavors that enticed children to purchase a product they could not legally buy. At the same time, the advertising did not include information young people would consume. In addition, children were not informed that vaping would be addictive nor about the long-term health effects.
“All this has left school districts with unanticipated expenses,” he said.
Those expenses include the cost of filing charges with a district judge against students for violating the district’s tobacco policy.
Following the meeting, Bonner, who also represents Neshannock Township School District, said he has contacted other districts’ solicitors to join the legal action.
There will be no additional up-front cost to the districts to join the suit.
“Our fees and costs will be collected if this goes to trial or is resolved,” he said.
Health officials have linked vaping to more than 2,000 lung injuries and 47 deaths in the United States this year.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 27 percent of teenage school children used electronic cigarettes in the past month, more than double the figure from a year ago. A majority of youth surveyed also cited Juul as their “usual brand.”