Juul Labs has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle more than 5,000 lawsuits by school districts, local governments and individuals who claimed the e-cigarettes were more addictive than advertised, according to people with knowledge of the deal.
The amount for the deal, which involves a consolidation of Northern California cases, is more than three times the amount reported to date for other Juul settlements in other state and local cases.
The settlement amount was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal.
In September, the company agreed to pay $438.5 million to settle a multi-state investigation into whether the company had targeted young people. States that surveyed the company were stunned by ads featuring young models and fruit and dessert flavors that appealed to adolescents. The resulting settlement kept Juul from targeting its products at young people.
Full terms of the settlement, reached earlier this week, were not disclosed. But Juul has repeatedly denied targeting minors and has not admitted wrongdoing in reaching other agreements with plaintiffs.
Juul will continue to sell its products in the United States pending a decision from the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates e-cigarettes. In June, the agency rejected the company’s application to allow its vapes and pods to remain on the market. Juul went to court and got a temporary stay; the FDA then put its decision on hold for further review, which is continuing.
The new settlement does not end claims against Altria, which lawyers for the plaintiffs say had a 35 percent stake in Juul. The agreement does not immediately offer money, but opens a claims process for the 10,000 claimants to apply for the money to be distributed.