JUUL Must Pay $22 Million in WA Lawsuit, But Where’s Money Going?
A 2020 lawsuit filed by WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has been amped up.
AG sues vape manufacturer JUUL in 2020
The lawsuit claims JUUL violated the Consumer Protection Act and other laws by allegedly targeting teens and underage vapers, as well as not disclosing potentially harmful effects of their product. You can see more about the suit here.
Wednesday, April 13, Ferguson said a King County consent decree demands JUUL pay a total of $22.5 million dollars over the next four years to the state. They will also be required to enact a massive secret shopper program at JUUL sale locations for two years.
The suit goes on and on about the allegations of laws JUUL broke. But what caught our attention was what will be done with the $22.5 million-dollar fine they pay. This was included in the AG's office information release:
"The Attorney General’s Office will establish a new Health Equity unit using these resources. The unit will work at the intersection of multiple legal divisions in the Attorney General’s Office, including Civil Rights, Consumer Protection, and Complex Litigation, and respond to deceptive and discriminatory health care practices that disproportionately impact vulnerable communities and communities of color. For the next four years, the unit will focus on enforcement, outreach and education."
Health Equity Unit? Discriminatory health care practices? It appears JUUL did violate laws and rules, but regardless of who the company is, the way the fine money is going to be used (if they pay it) sounds similar to his suits against the pharmaceutical companies.
The state needs money for a 'special' department or unit? File a lawsuit to get it. Hmmm.