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SF e-cigarette giant Juul settles 5K claims over teen vaping

A teen puffs on a Juul e-cigarette in the San Francisco Bay Area on May 16, 2018. | Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Juul Labs says it will pay an undisclosed sum to settle 5,000 lawsuits from 10,000 people in the latest major legal battle over the San Francisco firm’s e-cigarette marketing and whether it’s fueling a teen vaping crisis.

The proposal merges personal injury, consumer protection and Native American litigation into a single Northern California case that took three years to resolve.

And it comes just two months after the vaping giant promised a few dozen states it would shell out $438 million to resolve claims that its fruity e-cigarette flavors hooked young people on tobacco.

The personal injury settlements in the latest federal case will compensate people who suffer from nicotine addiction and related health problems, while the consumer class-action part of the case secured payouts for customers who bought Juul products.

Government claims in the lawsuit carved out funding for school districts, cities and counties to fight youth nicotine addiction. And the tribal portion allocates similar payments for Native American communities. 

Juul said it lined up equity investments to pay for the deal.

Though based in San Francisco, the company cannot sell many of its products in local stores because of a citywide ban on e-cigs and nicotine cartridges sparked by concerns over their appeal to minors.

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