News & Opinion | October 30, 2019 11:12 am

Former Juul Exec Says the Company Refused to Recall Contaminated Pods

Ex-CEO reportedly said no customers would notice the quality

juul lawsuit
Juul's ex-CEO reportedly refused to recall contaminated products.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Popular vape company Juul’s struggling reputation has taken another hit in the form of allegations that the company knowingly shipped and refused to recall damaged e-cigarette pods.

The latest chapter in Juul’s ongoing PR nightmare comes courtesy of former company executive Siddharth Breja, who filed a lawsuit against Juul Tuesday, BuzzFeed News reported. In the lawsuit, the former senior vice president of global finance alleges he was fired after expressing concern about the contaminated pods on multiple occasions. Breja says he first called attention to the issue in February 2019, raising concern about the sale of pods that were over a year old. When he suggested the company should at least alert customers to the risk of expired pods, he was reportedly rebuffed by then-CEO Kevin Burns.

According to the lawsuit, Burns declined to entertain Breja’s alarm, saying, “Half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fos, who the fuck is going to notice the quality of our pods.”

Breja says he again tried to alert the company to the issue a month later in March 2019, after learning that 250,000 mint refill kits made with contaminated e-liquid had been sent out to consumers. The former exec says he was fired after protesting the company’s refusal to act, though Juul maintains the Breja was let go due to a resume-related issue.

Burns subsequently quit in September amid allegations linking a growing number of illnesses and deaths to vape use.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.