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Litigation-related items approved by Dist. U-46

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved,  of two litigation-related items at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 2 which was held electronically due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  Included was a resolution allowing the district to join over 100 government-run school districts in over 20 states in a lawsuit against Juul, which sells e-cigarettes and other vaping products.
  Superintendent Tony Sanders alleged that Juul “deliberatively marketed their materials, their electronic cigarettes, to youth” and said that the district, with the board, was “authorized to hold these conversations in closed session until this point.”
  Juul has denied that it markets to youth. In a statement last year regarding a similar lawsuit, Juul said it “never marketed to youth and do not want non-nicotine users, especially youth, to ever try our product.”
  U-46 will join other districts through the Frantz Law Group out of California.
  Miguel Rodriguez, chief legal officer, said “there will not be any legal fees up front” and “it’ll be simply a matter of recovery.” The resolution states Frantz would receive 20 percent for “any recovery on or before June 30, 2021” and 25 percent for “any recovery after July 1, 2021.”
  The resolution states that “in recent years the use and abuse of e-cigarettes and vaping devices has increased dramatically among high school and middle school students, leading to significant risks of addiction and potentially life-threatening respiratory ailments” and claims that “has caused the District to incur costs in the form of staff time, disciplinary proceedings, and other costs.”
  Also approved was a settlement agreement pertaining to a lawsuit originally filed by School District 300, based in Algonquin, against Sears Holdings Corporation.
  The lawsuit pertained to a 1989 economic incentive given by Hoffman Estates to attract Sears which was unable to maintain the required number of jobs it promised to create after its 2018 bankruptcy, according to the lawsuit.
  Several other taxing bodies, including U-46, were a part of the lawsuit. No indication was given at the meeting on how much U-46 will receive from the settlement.
  Rodriguez did say “the litigation is still ongoing.”

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