Leon County Schools joins more than 1,000 other school districts in lawsuit against Juul

“After visiting with our kids, there’s no doubt we’re doing the right thing,” Superintendent Rocky Hanna said.

Tallahassee Democrat | By Ana Goñi-Lessan | October 12, 2022

Leon County Schools will join more than a thousand other school districts in the fight against one of the most popular e-cigarette makers.

The school board on Tuesday evening voted to join a class action lawsuit with approximately 1,400 other school districts against Juul, alleging the e-cigarette manufacturer used unfair marketing practices to make youth addicted to vaping products.

“This is important for us to make a stand to our community that we are against this, and that we don’t appreciate these companies seducing our children with banana-flavored nicotine,” said school board member Rosanne Wood. “If this lawsuit prevails, and we get an award, we’ll be able to educate our students.”

Assistant Superintendent Alan Cox warns parents and students of the consequences of vaping. Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat

As of early September, 14 other school districts in Florida had joined the lawsuit.

Leon County Schools will be represented by Kirton McConkie PC, a law firm based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.

According to the contract, the district will owe 25% of the settlement and 25% of any non-monetary settlement to attorneys if the case closes by June 1, 2023. If the case closes after, that payment increases to 30% each.

Superintendent Rocky Hanna supported joining the lawsuit and said he’s spoken to students about vaping during his sit-down lunches at middle and high schools.

“After visiting with our kids, there’s there’s no doubt we’re doing the right thing,” Hanna said.

Juul recently agreed to pay nearly $440 million to 34 states and territories to settle an investigation into the company’s vaping products.

The investigation found that Juul marketed its e-cigarettes to underage teens with launch parties, giveaways and ads and social media posts using youthful models, according to a statement from the Connecticut’s Attorney General William Tong. 

Connecticut will receive a minimum of $16.2 million through the settlement.

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