News Releases » Monterey Peninsula USD Announces Settlement in Lawsuit with Juul Labs, Inc.

Monterey Peninsula USD Announces Settlement in Lawsuit with Juul Labs, Inc.


March 16, 2023


Marci McFadden, Chief of Communications & Engagement


Monterey Peninsula USD Announces Settlement in Lawsuit with Juul Labs, Inc.

Settlement funding will allow MPUSD to enhance efforts to reduce and deter youth nicotine use among students

Monterey, CA - The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District has reached a settlement in Monterey’s federal district court in a lawsuit against Juul Labs, Inc. This settlement is part of a global settlement with Juul Labs, Inc. resolving numerous cases brought by government entity plaintiffs, including school districts, cities, and counties. This settlement follows litigation that spanned over three years.


This settlement will provide additional resources to educate students in MPUSD about the dangers of youth vaping and youth nicotine use. The government entity settlement will provide resources to MPUSD and other school districts, cities, and counties to abate youth nicotine addiction in their communities.


“Our district and schools prioritize safety and well-being of students and this settlement will allow us to further enhance our work to educate students about the dangers of nicotine use and vaping, as well as reduce and deter nicotine use among our youth,,” said PK Diffenbaugh, Superintendent, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District.


A study released in October 2022 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 2.55 million U.S. middle and high school students reported current (past 30-day) e-cigarette use in 2022, which included 14.1% of high school students and 3.3% of middle school students. Nearly 85% of those youth used flavored e-cigarettes and more than half used disposable e-cigarettes. 


JUUL Labs, Inc. is an American electronic nicotine delivery system company. JUUL Labs makes the Juul electronic cigarette, which uses a heating element to convert a nicotine solution into an aerosol, which can then be inhaled by the user. Lawsuits were filed against JUUL Labs by persons allegedly injured by use of JUUL products, consumers who purchased JUUL products, and school districts, other government entities, and Native American tribes dealing with youth e-cigarette use.


MPUSD has a number of health initiatives to address and educate on the use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, including: 


  • In-class substance use and vaping prevention presentations facilitated by Sun Street Centers
  • School-wide drug awareness presentations in partnership with Montage Health
  • Community virtual presentations on Vaping and Cannabis Awareness in partnership with the Monterey County Health Department
  • My Path Drug Free Student Clubs - High School Level
  • Drug Awareness Community Event - April 14, 2023
  • Community Resource: Let’s Talk Toolkit 


These settlements do not release claims against Altria Group, Inc., or its related companies that are also defendants in the federal or state litigation. MPUSD is committed to continuing the litigation against Altria.


MPUSD’s lawsuit was filed by Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP, who will be compensated from proceeds from the suit. The district did not incur any out-of-pocket legal fees in connection with this litigation.

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About Monterey Peninsula Unified School District


The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District is home to approximately 9,600 students in grades transitional kindergarten through 12th grade. The district also houses preschool and adult education. The district is built on a solid foundation of effective instruction, positive school culture, systems of support, and collaborative leadership. The district is nestled along the Monterey Bay, and stretches from the city of Marina to the north to the city of Monterey to the south, and includes the communities of Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey, Sand City and Seaside.