© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Juul e-cigarettes are seen on the counter of a vape store in Santa Monica, California, US, June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
(Reuters) -Juul Labs Inc won preliminary approval of a settlement aimed at ending thousands of lawsuits alleging the company was a major cause of a youth-vaping epidemic in the United States, according to a court filing on Friday.
US District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said Juul’s deal to settle almost 10,000 lawsuits filed by local governments across the country seemed to be “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”
Juul did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The court document provided no details of the terms of the settlement.
The company earlier said it had reached settlements with about 10,000 plaintiffs covering more than 5,000 cases in California.
Partly owned by Marlboro maker Altria Group (NYSE:) Inc, Juul in September agreed to pay $438.5 million to settle claims from 34 US states and territories that said the company targeted underage buyers and downplayed its products’ risks.
The US Food and Drug Administration in June briefly banned Juul’s e-cigarettes, although it later put the order on hold following an appeal.