As Juul proclaims mass layoffs, a brand new lawsuit alleges it shipped one million contaminated pods

A lawsuit filed a by former Juul govt alleges that the corporate knew a batch of contaminated e-liquid had been utilized in about a million pods shipped to retailers earlier this 12 months, however didn’t inform prospects. The lawsuit, first reported by BuzzFeed, was introduced by Siddharth Breja, former senior vp of world finance at Juul from Might 2018 to March 2019, who alleges he was fired after complaining concerning the contaminated pods.

Information of the lawsuit comes the identical day as Juul’s announcement it is going to lay off about 500 folks, or 10% to 15% of its workforce, and the departure of 4 executives, together with chief monetary officer Tim Danaher. Juul is at the moment underneath scrutiny by the Meals and Drug Administration, which claims the startup made deceptive statements about its product and focusing on of teenagers.

Within the lawsuit, Breja claims that in a gathering on March 12, he discovered a contaminated batch of mint e-liquid was used to make 250,000 refill kits, or a complete of 1 million pods, that had already been shipped to retailers.

Breja alleges that when he complained about Juul’s refusal to situation a product recall or well being and security discover, Danaher mentioned doing so would price the corporate billions of {dollars} in misplaced gross sales, hurting its then-$38 billion valuation. A couple of week later, Breja says the corporate fired him, telling him that it was as a result of he had misrepresented himself as former chief monetary officer at Uber. Within the lawsuit, Breja says the declare was “preposterous,” and that he had precisely represented his former place as a chief monetary officer of a division at Uber.

Within the lawsuit, Breja additionally claims that Juul wished to promote pods that have been virtually a 12 months previous and when he requested the corporate to incorporate an expiration or greatest by date, or a date of manufacture on the packaging, he was advised by former CEO Kevin Burns that “half our prospects are drunk and vaping like mo-fos, who the fuck goes to note the standard of our pods?”

TechCrunch has contacted Juul and the regulation agency representing Breja for remark. In an announcement to BuzzFeed, Breja’s lawyer Harmeet Dhillon mentioned “Mr. Breja grew to become conscious of very regarding actions on the firm, and he carried out his obligation to shareholders and to the board by reporting these points internally. In change for doing that, he was inappropriatey terminated. That is very regarding, notably since a number of the points he raised involved issues of public security.”

Burns was changed in September by Ok.C. Crosthwaite, a former govt at Juul’s largest shareholder Altria . A substitute for Danaher has not been introduced but.

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