Securing $15.2 Million from JUUL for Preying on DC Children
Dear Fellow Washingtonians:
The Office of Attorney General (OAG) prioritizes protecting the health and safety of District youth. Data and common sense tell us that kids who grow up in a safe and healthy environment are much more likely to be successful in school, to develop the skills to become independent and productive, and much less likely to engage in behavior that is dangerous to themselves and those around them.
In 2019, our Office of Consumer Protection filed a lawsuit against JUUL—a major e-cigarette manufacturer—for targeting youth, failing to verify the age of purchasers, and deceiving consumers about the content, strength, addictiveness and safety of its products. JUUL knew its products were addictive and dangerous, but it put profits over the health and safety of our kids. OAG is holding JUUL accountable for the thousands of District teenagers who now use e-cigarettes because of dishonest and manipulative marketing practices.
This month, we reached a $15.2 million settlement with JUUL to resolve these allegations. Now, thanks to the diligent work by our legal teams, JUUL has ended its harmful, illegal conduct and must put millions of dollars towards mitigating the public health damage it caused.
I promise that OAG will continue to fight for the health, safety, and well-being of all kids in the District.
Improving Public Safety in the DMV
Earlier this month, I wrote to Virginia Attorney General Miyares inviting his office to work collaboratively with OAG to address illegal gun trafficking and to improve public safety in the DMV by supporting Statehood for the District. The safety of the more than 700,000 District residents and the millions of visitors who visit DC each year is a top priority for OAG.
Enhancing Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts
Ensuring that DC’s waterways and natural resources are clean, safe, and accessible for all DC residents is also a top priority for OAG. Last week, OAG announced a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its failure to ensure that Pennsylvania reduce its pollution of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including the Potomac River—an important step toward achieving the Chesapeake Bay’s pollution reduction goals.
Ensuring DC Workers Receive the Wages and Benefits They are Legally Owed
OAG is committed to protecting District workers, ensuring they receive the wages and benefits they have earned and are legally owed, and leveling the playing field for all law-abiding District businesses.
We recently announced a new win for DC workers: an $835,000 settlement with Maryland Applicators, a construction company operating in DC. Maryland Applicators denied DC workers the sick leave and other employment benefits they had earned by misclassifying them as independent contractors rather than employees. This not only cheated the workers, but it gave Maryland Applicators an unfair advantage over its competitors who follow the law. OAG will continue to aggressively pursue such unfair, illegal and immoral conduct.
Kia and Hyundai Need to Recall Cars that Lack Anti-Theft Controls
Last week, OAG joined AG offices throughout the country in urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall Hyundai and Kia models that lack anti-theft controls—a failure that has led to a surge of auto thefts and collateral public safety issues across the District and country. In the District, Kias and Hyundais accounted for a significant portion of cars recovered in 2022, and an even greater portion in 2023. This recall is necessary to discourage future auto thefts and improve public safety overall.