AVA, Mo. -- An Ozarks school district filed a lawsuit against Juul, the e-cigarette company.
Ava Superintendent Dr. Jason Dial says district leaders decided to file the lawsuit in October against Juul because of a significant rise in vaping incidents. During all of last year, Ava High School and Middle School reported 19 vaping incidents, where students were caught with e-cigarettes. The number of cases already this school year is at 36.
Dr. Dial says the district's lawsuit is one of many across the country, but at this point it's just an individual lawsuit. Those lawsuits could join together as one. He says he has received several phone calls from other districts, including some in southwest Missouri, interested in also filing lawsuits.
District leaders say they are working to educate students about the dangers of vaping. They've worked with local health officials, but it is actually high school students who are going into the classrooms to teach other students. The superintendent says with the lawsuit, they would hope to gain funding to put toward training and prevention efforts, help for students trying to quit vaping, and they would hope to get reimbursed for vape detectors they're considering putting in the schools.