A health crisis out of “Big Tobacco’s playbook”
Since 2015, JUUL Labs Inc. has marketed its e-cigarette, JUUL, as a safer and less addictive alternative to traditional nicotine. But rather than primarily advertise its product to adults who were already tobacco smokers, lawsuits allege that the company targeted minors with its youth-oriented advertising and fun flavors, like mango and fruit medley.
By 2017, JUUL became the most popular e-cigarette on the market. And their advertising worked. The slick branding and appetizing flavors helped cover up the fact that JUUL cartridges still had extremely high levels of nicotine. More teenagers started smoking cigarettes, reversing decades-long progress in decreasing teenage tobacco use. Announcing New York’s lawsuit against JUUL Labs, New York Attorney General Letitia James said the company “took a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook.”
By 2019, the FDA and CDC reported: “alarming levels” of teenage tobacco use, with one million teens using e-cigarettes daily. Recent research has found that JUUL users may be more susceptible to developing serious complications like lipoid pneumonia, popcorn lung, and nicotine poisoning. There have been 55 reported deaths and 2,561 cases of respiratory illness associated with e-cigarette use, according to the CDC.
The Sanders Phillips Grossman Law Firm helps communities fight back against JUUL
Recognizing that teenage tobacco addiction has now reached epidemic levels, Sanders Phillips Grossman is doubling its efforts in the fight against JUUL through its newly established task force.
While SPG has already pursued litigation against JUUL Labs, the task force will fight the problem at the local level. The primary objectives of the task force are to raise awareness of the epidemic of teenage addiction and solicit recovery damages for schools, municipalities, states and government agencies to curb the crisis. The damages they will pursue include anti-addiction programs and PSA campaigns, facility smoke alarms and other devices installed in schools and other youth facilities to monitor and prevent teenage e-cigarette abuse.
The JUUL task force consists of many of SPG’s most experienced attorneys and partner firms who will combine efforts to decrease teenage tobacco usage in local communities:
● Marc Grossman, Esq, Senior Managing Partner, heads the task force. Mr. Grossman
has been an advocate for consumer rights for over twenty-five years and has served on
numerous committees on the Federal and State levels. He is known as one of the
premier lawyers in the country receiving awards and accolades for his efforts.
● Kelly Hyman, an award-winning class action attorney recognized for her work against
Big Tobacco, transvaginal mesh products, and water contamination. A TV legal analyst,
she regularly lends her expertise to cable news networks and has been called a “modern
day Erin Brokovich” for regularly standing up to corporate giants on behalf of the
● Melissa Sims, Esq, an attorney who has a history of fighting for municipality rights all
over the nation. Ms. Sims brings to the taskforce a wealth of experience recovering
monies wrongfully spent by local State municipalities because of opioid manufacturers
valuing profits over addiction. She has also represented large unions and corporations
for recoupment of medical costs and expenses associated with pharmaceutical and
medical device negligence.
● Danielle Mason, head of SPG’s talc litigation team and member of the opioid task force.
She is an award-winning personal injury that has secured nearly $1 billion in verdicts
against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn about ovarian cancer risks. Ms. Mason
was recently included in the 2020 Best Lawyers in America list, and has been named a
Super Lawyers “Rising Star” every year since 2014.
● Tina Bullock, Senior Attorney, represents clients in Federal Tort Claim Act, ACA medical
discrimination, medical malpractice and product liability cases, after a 23-year career
working in hospital administration and as a registered nurse. Having represented
hospitals in the opioid litigation, she has a unique understanding of how substance
abuse can have devastating effects on local communities.
● Victoria Maniatis, Partner, is also a member of the Opioid Task Force. She has been
appointed as lead counsel and held numerous positions on Plaintiff Steering Committees
for mass tort cases like Bard, Boston Scientific, Ethicon, Transvaginal Mesh, talc, and
Fosamax Femur Fracture litigation. A distinguished lawyer in the field of
pharmaceuticals, her accolades have earned her invitations to be a lecturer and
moderator on several pharmaceutical cases.
● Alejandro Garcia Padilla, the former Governor of Puerto Rico, is an of-counsel attorney
for SPG and a member of the Opioid Task Force. He has encountered and tried to tackle
the issues of pain medication addiction in Puerto Rico, one of the states or territories
recommended to be put into a state of emergency by President Trump.
● David Eisbrouch, founder of Eisbrouch Marsh, LLC, a firm that has represented injured clients in New Jersey and New York for nearly 30 years. He has been involved in a number of national mass torts. Most notably, he played a significant role in obtaining the Vioxx and Avandia mass tort settlements. Mr. Eisbrouch is especially proud to have helped first responders, workers and residents suffering from 9/11-related cancer and respiratory injuries obtain compensation from the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF).
About Sanders Phillips Grossman
Sanders Phillips Grossman, LLC partners have a fifty-four-year history as a leading force in social injustice litigation including mass-tort litigation and is prepared to help victims nationwide who have been harmed at the hands of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer companies. Leading the charge, the Sanders Firm team is consistently investigating links and developments in mass-tort litigation at the highest level. The firm’s advocates sit on the Plaintiffs’ steering committees of the most widely litigated pharmaceutical claims. The firm’s members continue to lead the discussion at national conventions such as Mass Torts Made Perfect, and serve as chairmen of the reputable Mass Tort Medical School, among many other notable achievements.
Sanders Phillips Grossman, LLC has offices located throughout the United States including New York, California, Washington, New Jersey, Illinois, Colorado, and Puerto Rico. Our attorneys are admitted to practice law in state or federal courts in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. The firm and its affiliates have over fifty attorneys and two hundred support staff dedicated to fighting for social injustices in the United States.