Oct. 30 (UPI) — A former executive at electronic cigarette company Juul filed a lawsuit stating the company shipped 1 million contaminated vape pods earlier this year.
The former vice president of global finance of the San Fransisco-based company, Siddharth Breja, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday alleging the company shipped the contaminated pods without informing customers or issuing a recall.
“In total disregard for the law, public safety and public health Juul has sent to market, at a minimum, approximately one million mint-flavored e-cigarette nicotine pods that it admits were contaminated,” the lawsuit states.
Breja states that he was terminated a week after raising concerns about the contaminated pods and that then-Juul COO Tim Danaher “questioned his financial acumen” as his suggestions would lead to billions of dollars in lost revenue and told him he should remember his loyalty to Juul.
He alleges Juul offered fabricated reasons for his termination including that Breja had misrepresented himself as the CFO at his previous employer, Uber, which he denies.
“Mr. Breja never claimed that; instead he stated that he operated as the CFO of a division of Uber. Juul’s claim is preposterous and belied by the fact that Mr. Breja had shared his resume and his job description at Uber with Mr. Danaher and other Juul interviewers in advance of commencing his employment at Juul,” the lawsuit states.
Breja’s lawsuit also notes a separate instance in an executive team meeting in February in which the company expressed plans to resell pods that were returned from a distributor that were nearly a year old.
Breja protested the resale of the pods as advertisements on Juul’s website states the pods do not expire for at least a year and are meant to be used soon after purchase.
He also suggested the company should include the date of manufacture, an expiration date or “best by” date on the packaging, but CEO Kevin Burns dismissed his ideas, saying the customers would not likely notice the quality of the pods.
The lawsuit states the company did eventually resell the old pods and continues to sell products without mentioning the date of manufacture on the packaging.