ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- A St. Charles County School District has filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette maker Juul.
The complaint was filed Monday by the Francis Howell School District in federal court.
Cindy Ormsby a partner with Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O’Keefe in Clayton, Missouri, is representing the district.
She said Juul is marketing their products to kids which is creating issues within schools that they are not prepared to face.
“As a result of marketing to youth, now the high schools in the area are dealing with an onslaught of students vaping in school, vaping in the classroom, vaping in hallways and restrooms,” Ormsby said.
She said three years ago the entire school district had three student issues involving nicotine. She said last year they dealt with more than 200 and one involved a fifth-grade student.
Ormsby said they would like Juul to stop marketing to young people and help solve the problem.
“I would like to see them provide the money the districts need to fight the issue they’ve now created. It’s a problem nobody in St. Louis looked for or created but now they are having to deal with it,” she added.
This lawsuit from Francis Howell joins other similar suits being filed across the country including some in the Kansas City area against Juul. Ormsby said they are approaching this as mass torts case and not a class action lawsuit.
News 4 asked Juul Labs for a statement and they sent the following from a spokesperson:
"We have not yet seen this proposed complaint. JUUL Labs is committed to eliminating combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world. Our product has always only been intended to be a viable alternative for the one billion current adult smokers in the world. We have never marketed to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products. We have launched an aggressive action plan to combat underage use as it is antithetical to our mission.
We strongly advocate for Tobacco 21 legislation, we stopped the sale of non-tobacco and non-menthol based flavored JUULpods to our traditional retail store partners, enhanced our online age-verification process, strengthened our retailer compliance program with over 2,000 secret shopper visits per month, and shut down our Facebook and Instagram accounts while working constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others on those platforms. Most recently, we announced the deployment of technology at retail stores that automatically restricts the sale of JUUL products until a government-issued ID is electronically scanned to verify age and ID validity. This technology also limits the amount of JUUL products that can be purchased to prevent reselling or sharing to those underage, and it will soon be mandatory for all JUUL product sales across the country.
It was our hope that others in the category would self-impose similar restrictions to address youth usage, and it is now our hope that regulators will impose these same restrictions to protect youth and to preserve the opportunity to eliminate combustible cigarettes, the deadliest legal consumer product known to man."