Image of a Juul electronic cigarette
Durham, NC – A North Carolina state court judge will hold a final pre-trial motion hearing on Monday in a closely watched case accusing leading electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. of engaging in a misleading marketing to minors, and the procedure will be Hammer to Hammer webcast by Courtroom View Network.
Durham County Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson will consider decisive motions at Monday’s hearing that could determine whether or not a trial scheduled for July 12 takes place in the 2019 trial filed by the Attorney General of North Carolina, Josh Stein – the first such lawsuit in the country filed by a state AG over Juul’s marketing of its popular e-nicotine products.
Stein’s lawsuit alleges that Juul violated state Unfair and Deceptive Marketing Practices law by downplaying the addictive nature and potency of its nicotine products, and that the company’s marketing practices lead to a massive increase in nicotine consumption among minors.
Juul, which sells the best-selling e-cigarette in the country, denies that their marketing is intentionally targeting minors and argues that e-cigarettes offer a healthier alternative for adults to traditional smoking.
The full hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EST, will be viewable live in real time and on demand at the end of the hearing via CVN.
The first North Carolina state court case has come under nationwide scrutiny due to its potential impact on multi-district consolidated federal litigation involving Juul’s e-cigs.
Hundreds of lawsuits stemming from Juul’s allegedly deceptive marketing practices are consolidated in California federal court before U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick, with possible trial dates set at 2022.
Any previously confidential information that becomes public during next month’s potential trial in North Carolina could have a substantial impact on the resolution of these pending federal lawsuits and a number of at least 900 cases that are expected to increase.
Juul’s e-cigs, which look like small USB drives, first hit the market in 2015. Low-profile devices quickly became popular with teens because they are easy to hide and produce vapor with no noticeable odor.
In 2019, when NC AG Stein sued Juul, they had a 74.6% market share in e-cigarette sales in the United States, putting the very young company on a competitive basis, even with the big tobacco companies.
Juul is represented by lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis, McGuireWoodsLLP and the law firm Gunster.
The case is captioned Joshua Stein v. Juul Labs Inc., case number 19-CV-002885 in the Superior Court of County Durham, North Carolina.
Email David Siegel at [email protected]