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Juul beats racketeering claims

26 Oct 2020. Several racketeering claims brought against Juul Labs consumers and local governments have been ruled out for the moment, reports Bloomberg.

US District Judge William Orrick said that the claims that had been brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Practices Act did not pass legal muster but added that the plaintiffs could amend their filings to try and make a RICO case.

Consumers and school districts are claiming that Juul intentionally targeted youths as a customer base by using modern marketing campaigns and social media posts. Juul on the other hand, has denied that there was any illegal “enterprise” in its business relationships and argued in court that misrepresentations about e-cigarettes do not amount to “racketeering” activities, according to Bloomberg.

Although Juul has beat the claims for now, Orrick largely upheld the plaintiffs’ claims that Juul targeted teenagers and did not take adequate precautions to stop underage users from getting addicted to their products. According to Bloomberg, he also refused to throw out claims that Juul and Altria officials had used misleading statements about the addiction risk of e-cigarettes and thus engaged in a “scheme to defraud”.

“More specific allegations are needed for the RICO claims” against Altria Group Inc., Orrick said. He also added that the plaintiffs will need more specifics of RICO activities by directors named as defendants to proceed against them.