Local school district joins lawsuit against major e-cigarette company

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HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — A lawsuit involving over 100 school districts, including Cabell County Schools locally, was filed Monday.

An attorney on the case, William Shinoff, says Cabell County Schools is the first school district in the state of West Virginia to join in on the case.

“Unfortunately this community in West Virginia was ravaged by the opioid epidemic and this is just another epidemic that they’re unfortunately dealing with, and they want this to stop, and they want to make sure that the community understands, enough is enough.” 

William Shinoff, attorney, Frantz Law Group

Cabell County Schools filed a lawsuit Monday against the American E-Cigarette company, Juul.

Cabell County Schools joins a lawsuit including more than 100 school districts nationwide suing Juul. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

“My firm represents over 100 school districts, but right now I believe that there’s about over 200 school districts that are actively involved.” 

William Shinoff, attorney, Frantz Law Group

When asked how many of those districts the firm is representing are from West Virginia:

“One. They [Cabell County Schools] are the first.” 

William Shinoff, attorney, Frantz Law Group

In its suit, the school district claims that as a result of Juul’s aggressive marketing towards minors, they’ve had to spend a significant resources—upwards of $75,000 dollars—in combating what they allege are deceptive marketing practices, as well as educating students about the dangers of vaping and in preventing the possession and use of it on campuses.

“What this case really is about is the fact that Juul: they’ve become a multi-billion dollar company off the backs of children. What we’ve learned is that they intentionally market their product to children.” 

William Shinoff, attorney, Frantz Law Group

Attorney William Shinoff says if won, the financial compensation would be focused on deterrents such as vape detectors on school campuses, as well as providing funding for additional support staff to deal with resulting nicotine addictions in students.

However, it may still be awhile until we see this case resolved.

“The judge has set a trial date for what’s called the bellwether trial, for January 2022.” 

William Shinoff, attorney, Frantz Law Group

13 News reached out to Juul Labs Inc. and Altria Group Inc.—both named on the suit—but they did not respond for comment.

Cabell County Schools also declined to comment at this time, as the litigation is currently pending.

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