General Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Challenge Rejected By 6th Circuit

By Troutman Sanders Tobacco Law Team Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a challenge to the Master Settlement Agreement filed by General Tobacco against sixteen tobacco manufacturers and 52 Attorneys General. General Tobacco joined the MSA in 2004. At the time,...

Florida Appeals Court Vacates $79.2 Million Verdict In Tobacco Death Case

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A $79.2 million verdict on behalf of the daughter of a smoker who died from lung cancer was vacated as excessive on April 9 by the First District Florida Court of Appeal ( R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, v. Diane Webb , No. 10-6557, Fla. App., 1st Div.). ( Opinion...

Punitive Damages Award Vacated On Repose Statute In Tobacco Death Case

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - (Mealey's) The $5 million punitive damages portion of what was originally an $8 million verdict has been vacated by a Florida appeals court, which found May 2 that the reliance required for the fraudulent concealment claim on which the punitive damages award was based was...

Minnesota Supreme Court Says Tobacco Settlement Bars 'Light Cigarette' Suit

ST. PAUL, Minn. - (Mealey's) The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between 46 states and major tobacco companies precludes private suits for wrongful conduct occurring even after the settlement's 1998 execution, a divided Minnesota Supreme Court said May 30 in dismissing a putative class action...

Lawsuit Challenging State's Reallocation Of Tobacco Funds May Proceed, Court Rules

HARRISBURG, Pa. - (Mealey's) In a 5-2 en banc ruling, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on June 27 dismissed most preliminary objections to a lawsuit filed by 75 participants of a now-unfunded health insurance program who are challenging the constitutionality of the state's redirection of tobacco...

Judge's Jurisdiction Over Tobacco Racketeering Case Affirmed By D.C. Circuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge's continued jurisdiction over a 13-year-old racketeering case against Big Tobacco stemming from the companies' concealment of the risks of tobacco use was affirmed July 27 by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ( United...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Big Tobacco Loses Appeal in Racketeering Case

A federal appellate court recently rejected the tobacco industry's argument that restrictions imposed as part of a 2006 judgment should be set aside because Congress, in 2009, passed a law that imposed other restrictions on the industry and gave the Food & Drug Administration ("FDA"...

New Hampshire Supreme Court Vacates Light Cigarette Class

CONCORD, N.H. - (Mealey's) Saying sufficient public information existed to call into question whether plaintiffs were uniformly unaware that light cigarettes were as dangerous as regular ones, the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Aug. 21 vacated certification of a class action lawsuit alleging that...

Reference To Nazi Gets Judge Booted From Florida Tobacco Trial

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida judge who compared a former tobacco company chief executive officer to a Nazi war criminal was disqualified by the state's First District Court of Appeal Sept. 5 from presiding over a tobacco case ( Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Mary Brown , No. 1D12-3090...

Troutman Sanders: Court Awards Attorneys' Fees for Willful Trademark Infringement

By Dabney Carr After a bench trial, Judge Gibney of the Eastern District of Virginia found in favor of Lorillard Tobacco on its claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition and trademark dilution and awarded attorneys' fees to Lorillard based on an exceptional case finding under 15 U.S...

Judge Orders Tobacco Companies To Advertise Risks Of Smoking

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A District of Columbia federal judge on Nov. 27 released the language tobacco companies will be required to include in corrective statements in newspaper and television advertisements, on their websites and in cigarette packaging to counteract what the judge found to...

Florida Supreme Court Upholds $2.5 Million Verdict In Engle Tobacco Case

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (Mealey's) Florida's Supreme Court on March 14 affirmed, with one dissent, a trial court's application of its landmark decision in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc. (945 So. 2d 1246 [Fla. 2006]) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] in a $2.5 million verdict...

Florida Appeals Court Strikes Punitive Damages, Orders Remittitur On Others In Tobacco Case

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida appeals court conditionally struck $5 million in punitive damages from a tobacco wrongful death suit June 12 and directed a trial judge to grant remittitur on $15 million in survivors' consortium claims ( Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Sharon Putney...

Oregon Appeals Court Reinstates, Remands 'Light' Cigarette Claims

SALEM, Ore. - (Mealey's) The Oregon Court of Appeals has reinstated a putative class of Marlboro Light cigarette smokers who say they suffered an economic loss because the cigarettes were no safer than regular Marlboros, saying June 19 that the trial judge erred in rejecting the superiority of class...

Florida Appeals Court Vacates Punitive Damages, Allows Compensatories, In Tobacco Case

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida appeals court vacated $50,000 in punitive damages in a smoking wrongful death case Aug. 14, but allowed a compensatory damages award of approximately $957,000 to stand ( R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Pamela Ciccone , No. 4D11-3807, Fla. App...

Florida Appeals Court Affirms $25 Million In Punitives In Tobacco Death Verdict

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) The Third District Florida Court of Appeal affirmed $25 million in punitive damages to the widow of a smoker Sept. 4, saying the award, which was in addition to $16 million in compensatory damages, was not unconstitutionally excessive ( Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Dorothy...

Court: New Evidence For Punitive Damages Was Not Precluded By Remand

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — (Mealey’s) Saying that a trial judge did not err by allowing new mitigating evidence to be presented to a jury considering the amount of punitive damages on remand, the Missouri Supreme Court on Sept. 10 affirmed a $1.5 million judgment in a long-running tobacco wrongful...

Liggett Announces $110 Million Settlement Of Florida Tobacco Litigation

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) The nation’s third largest tobacco manufacturer announced Oct. 23 that it will pay $110 million to settle thousands of Engle progeny tobacco litigation cases asserting death and injury in Florida state and federal courts. Vector Group Ltd. and subsidiary Liggett...

Florida Federal Jury Finds Former Smoker Did Not Meet Engle Class Standard

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) A federal jury in Florida found for Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Group LLC Oct. 29 and against the estate of a smoker who died of lung cancer in 2001 ( Ronnie L. Jacobson, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. , No. 1:12-cv-23781, S.D. Fla.). ( Verdict slip...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Court of Appeals Rules Against Philip Morris in Tobacco Buyout Dispute

By Troutman Sanders Tobacco Practice In an earlier blog post, we discussed a case pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in which the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia evaluated the methodology used by the United States Department of...

FDA Announces Ban On Chinese Company’s ‘Bidi’ Type Cigarettes

ROCKVILLE, Md. — (Mealey’s) For what it says is the first time since the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act became law in 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 21 ordered an end to the sale in the United States of a Chinese company’s “bidi” tobacco...

2nd Circuit Reinstates Smuggling, Racketeering Claims Against R.J. Reynolds

NEW YORK — (Mealey’s) The European Community (EC) is an agency or instrumentality of its member states for the purpose of diversity jurisdiction in U.S. federal courts, and allegations of cigarette smuggling, racketeering and money laundering brought by the EC against the corporate parent...

Illinois Appeals Court Reinstates $10 Billion ‘Light’ Cigarettes Verdict

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. — (Mealey’s) A $10.1 billion consumer fraud verdict stemming from Philip Morris USA Inc.’s marketing of “light” cigarettes was reinstated April 29 by Illinois' Fifth District Appellate Court ( Sharon Price, et al. v. Philip Morris Inc. , No. 5-13-0017...

Florida Federal Jury Awards $2.5 Million To Smoker With Lung Disease

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida federal jury awarded $5 million in compensatory damages May 15 to a woman who said three companies’ cigarettes caused chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but the jury assigned 50 percent of the fault to the plaintiff ( Pauline Burkhart, et...

Florida Federal Jury Adds $2.5M In Punitive Damages For Smoker With Lung Disease

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida federal jury added $2.5 million in punitive damages Friday to $2.5 million in compensatory damages it had awarded May 15 to a woman who said three companies’ cigarettes caused chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( Pauline Burkhart, et al....