Vape giant JUUL, already reeling from a number of stateside lawsuits, has been hit with another claiming the company knowingly released 1 million ‘contaminated pods’ onto the market.
However after speaking to the JUUL Labs UK office I’ve been told the claims are “baseless” and down to a disgruntled employee fired for not being very good at his job!
The use of the word ‘contaminated’ is particularly unfortunate and timed perfectly for its shock value – given the current EVALI contaminated cannabis cartridge scare in America.
Just as it has started to become clear it is illicit street bought THC cartridges causing the illness and deaths, the word is attached to the country’s largest vape company.
Curious timing to say the least…
Not only that, the lawsuit also adds, IMHO the false claim, highlighted by former FDA supremo Scott Gottlieb, that ‘vaping’ was linked to seizures.
Something I refuted in the article: Gottlieb’s Last Spiteful Parting Shot…
It does feel as though the plaintiff is covering all the bases and throwing as much mud as possible hoping some will stick…only my opinion, don’t come for me 😉
“Drunk and Vaping Like Mofos!”
It’s been a pretty bad week for the pod kit company with the announcement it would be laying off 500 staff – 15% of its workforce – and following the resignation of three senior managers.
This particular lawsuit was filed in California this week by ‘whistleblower’ Siddharth Breja, who up until his termination in March, was the company’s vice president of global finance.
He claims JUUL knowingly allowed the contaminated pods onto the market and was particularly scathing about some of the company’s practices and in particular former JUUL CEO Kevin Burns, who he says, on hearing about the possible contamination issue – allegedly responded with:
Half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fo’s, who the f–k is going to notice the quality of our pods?
Ha! – he knows us vapers so well lol – though many of us within vaping have remarked on the ‘quality’ of JUUL pods available here in the UK, drunk or sober lol – my JUUL pod kit review is here!
Breja says he’s bought the lawsuit as he was concerned at JUUL’s:
…total disregard for the law, public safety, and public health.
And added he was:
…first and foremost concerned about public welfare, especially in the wake of consumers recently having reported suffering seizures due to the use of JUUL’s products.
He said by not removing the pods he claims were contaminated meant JUUL acted both “illegally” and committed an “ethical violation”.
The lawsuit adds:
Mr. Breja brings this action after he was terminated in retaliation for whistleblowing and objecting to the contaminated pod shipment and other illegal and unsafe conduct that has jeopardized and continues to jeopardize public health and safety and the lives of millions of consumers, many of them children and teens.
Has JUUL Acted “Illegally” and “Unethically?”
But as my contact at JUUL Labs UK said – “don’t believe everything you read Neil”
I have to agree given I’m always banging on about the bias and fake news in the mainstream media regarding vaping in general – especially in the US 😉
Anyway, JUUL has been quick to respond:
Mr. Breja’s claims are baseless.
He was terminated in March 2019 because he failed to demonstrate the leadership qualities needed in his role.
The allegations concerning safety issues with Juul products are equally meritless, and we already investigated the underlying manufacturing issue and determined the product met all applicable specifications.
The company will vigorously defend this lawsuit.
I did ask if any of the alleged contaminated cartridges found their way to the UK or Europe but to be fair to JUUL that’s a bit like asking the question:
Do you still beat your wife?
In other words in JUUL’s eyes there never were any so called ‘contaminated pods’ – so why would they be on these shores?
A stance I of course fully understand especially sub judice – not quite sure if that applies in the USA but you get my drift.
It’s boom-time for the JUUL lawyers and legal teams over in the states with dozens upon dozens of lawsuits filed against the company.
Never a day seems to go past without another one popping up – most of them if I’m honest look – read and sound shall be say ‘baseless’ 😉
One thing is clear with JUUL clinging onto 75% of the vaping market share in the USA – what happens to JUUL will and DOES have a trickle down effect on vaping in the country in general.
We shall of course keep you informed on the progress of this particular lawsuit.