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Former Juul exec claims the company sent seized vape pods



A Juul Labs manager who was fired this year claims that the gun company deliberately sent 1 million seized nicotine coatings to customers.

The allegation comes in a case filed Tuesday by lawyers representing Siddharth Breja, a former chief financial officer of the e-cigarette giant. The suit alleges that Breja was terminated after counteracting the company's practice of shipping contaminated flavors and not listing expiry dates on Juul products.

The lawsuit does not specify the pollution problem or how it occurred. Lawyers for Breja declined to elaborate on the case on Wednesday.

A Juul spokesman said in a statement that the allegations were "baseless" and that Breja was terminated because he failed to "demonstrate the leadership skills" required for the job. [1

9659005] Juul, the best-selling e-cigarette brand in the United States, has been besieged by criticism amid an explosion of minor weapons. The company faces multiple investigations by federal and state officials as well as lawsuits from teenage families who say they were hooked on nicotine through the company's vapes.

Breja worked in Juul's global finance department for less than 10 months. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, seeks compensation for lost wages, bonuses and Juul shares, which it valued at more than $ 10 million.

BuzzFeed News first reported the lawsuit.

Breja describes a "ruthless" and "win-at-any-cost" culture at Juul, primarily driven by the company's former CEO, Kevin Burns, who was replaced in a management shake in September.

Breja says he was told in March that some lots of the nicotine solution used in the company's mint flavor were not contaminated. Breja claims that the company's management sent about 1 million pods affected by the problem and failed to issue a recall or public announcement.

Juul's spokesman rejected Breja's account, saying that the company "determined that the product met all applicable specifications."

When Breja objected to the decision to send the charges, the lawsuit alleges, his superiors at Juul reminded him that "shareholders would lose significant personal wealth if he disclosed the concerns."

The lawsuit alleges that Burns "berated employees" for to ramp up the production of mint flavor pods, a move that "compromised quality control measures." The focus on mint came after the company, under pressure from health authorities, voluntarily ceased selling fruit and candy flavoring to third-party stores.

The lawsuit claims that Juul's external consultants assured the company that the mint, "given its fruity flavor, would offset the lack of sales of other flavored pods."

"You must have an IQ of 5 to know that when customers does not find mangoes, they buy mints, "Burns told employees, according to the lawsuit.

Breja claims he was wrongfully dismissed the week after he worried about contaminated mints. Because he had worked in the company for less than one years, he did not receive corporate stock that his lawyers claimed would be worth "eight figures today."

In a previous conflict with the Juul leadership, Breja said, he urged leaders to add an outlet or "best city"

The lawsuit claims Burns rejected the idea, saying: "Half of our customers are intoxicated and vaping like mo-fo's, which … will mark the quality of our pods. "

Juul's website states that the pod is intended for use" right after the purchase. "

Last month, Burns was replaced by KC Crosthwaite, a former manager of Altria Group Inc., cigarette maker Marlboro, which owns a 35% stake in privately owned Juul.

Over the past two years, the San Francisco company has become the main target of a nationwide backlash against e-cigarettes, with parents, politicians and health professionals blaming the vaping craze company among young people.

According to the latest government survey, more than 1 in 4 high school students reported using e-cigarettes last month, despite federal law prohibiting sales to those under 18.

In a separate health issue, federal authorities are investigating more than 1,600 cases of lung injury related to gunfire, including nearly three dozen deaths. Many patients said they had washed THC, the marijuana's intoxicating chemical, but officials have yet to implicate any product or ingredient.

Juul has made a series of voluntary concessions in an attempt to weather the storm. There is halted advertising and suspended sales of fruit and dessert flavors. The company continues to sell mint, menthol and tobacco flavors.

The Trump administration announced plans last month to remove virtually all vaping flavors from the market, leaving only tobacco.

But public health advocates are concerned that the administration may back away from the plan to ban mint and menthol, the most popular flavors among young people.

Last month, over 50 health groups, including the US Lung Assn. and the American Academy of Pediatrics, sent a letter to First Lady Melania Trump urging the administration to follow the original proposal.

"If the goal is to remove the most attractive e-cigarettes for youth, any suggestion that ignores the taste of mint and menthol may fall short," the groups said.


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