In an order issued on Friday, October 23, Judge Orrick denied plaintiffs’ claims on racketeering charges against Juul and Altria for their lack of specific proof to sustain those charges. Plaintiffs, however, have the option of modifying their filings to make them a RICO case. RICO claims carry with them the weight of triple damages, which would have put Juul and Altria in even more troubled waters.
Judge Orrick did keep plaintiffs’ claims that the vape manufacturers purposely utilized tactics and media channels specifically designed to attract youngsters into vaping and thus creating a vaping crisis, which has allegedly devastated many schools districts and put many children in dangerous health situations. Additionally, the judge also supported the claims that executives at both companies disguised and mislead the public about the real dangers of e-cigarettes.