Mealey's Tobacco

  • May 16, 2024

    Australia Justice: Lung Cancer Is Asbestos Related, But Tobacco User Was Negligent

    DARWIN, Australia — After finding that a worker’s continued use of tobacco products beyond 1972 when he must have known of their dangers constituted contributory negligence, an Australian justice said the worker’s fatal lung cancer likely arose from asbestos exposures and entered a total judgment of $329,751.87 plus costs to the worker’s family.

  • May 16, 2024

    E-Cig MDL Judge Orders Altria To Pay Plaintiffs $13.6M Attorney Fee Award

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and tobacco company Altria Group Inc. and its subsidiaries on May 15 approved an attorney fee award of $13.6 million after approving a $45 million settlement of economic loss claims against Altria brought by class members who purchased e-cigarette products in reliance upon misleading information about their addictiveness and health risks.

  • May 13, 2024

    Judge Orders $1.4M Supersedeas Bond Pending Tobacco Rolling Papers Appeal

    ATLANTA — A Georgia federal judge granted a motion filed by rolling papers companies and ordered defendants found liable for trademark infringement to post a supersedeas bond worth more than $1.4 million pending their appeal of jury verdicts against them to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • May 09, 2024

    Smokers’ Children Urge Panel To Affirm $8.1M Verdict, Deny Any Jury Errors

    MIAMI — The children of a dead smoker argue in a brief to a Florida appellate panel that it should affirm an $8.1 million compensatory damages judgment in their favor against a tobacco company for causing their father’s nicotine addiction, lung cancer and death, writing that a juror’s disclosure of opinions about cigarettes did not require disqualification during voir dire and that the court’s instructions on fraud-related findings from Engle were proper.

  • May 09, 2024

    Malpractice Settlement Doesn’t Preclude Engle Claims, Smoker’s Widow Says

    MIAMI — A smoker’s widow in a May 8 appellant brief to the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal says a trial court wrongly granted summary judgment on her case against a tobacco company for causing her husband’s lung cancer and death based on the court’s conclusion that the husband’s settlement of a medical malpractice suit against his cancer doctor released all claims relating to his cancer against all parties.

  • May 08, 2024

    Oregon Panel Finds County’s Flavored Tobacco Ban Not Preempted By State Law

    SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed a county circuit court judge’s order blocking a county’s ban of the sales of flavored tobacco products as preempted by a state law regulating tobacco sales, finding that the state law does not bar counties from enacting their own regulations on tobacco sales.

  • May 02, 2024

    Panel Affirms $3M Verdict To Smoker’s Widow, Dismisses Hard Drug Use Argument

    MIAMI — A Third District Florida Court of Appeal panel on May 1 affirmed a jury’s $3 million verdict in favor of a smoker’s widow in an Engle case, rejecting arguments by Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM) that the trial court improperly excluded evidence of the smoker’s use of crack and heroin.

  • April 29, 2024

    Panel Partly Reverses Engle Verdict Citing Lack Of Fraud Evidence

    TAMPA, Fla. — A Second District Florida Court of Appeal panel on April 26 reversed a jury’s fraud-based claim against a tobacco company and ordered a new trial on punitive damages after finding that the smoker’s estate failed to prove sufficient “reliance” evidence, thereby reducing a $15.5 million verdict to the widow and children of a smoker who died from lung cancer at age 50 by $12 million.

  • April 25, 2024

    Amici Urge D.C. Circuit To Affirm Vacatur Of FDA’s Premium Cigar Rules

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three amicus curiae briefs were filed in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supporting a judge’s vacatur of Food and Drug Administration’s rules for premium cigar regulation as “arbitrary and capricious,” all contending that vacatur was the appropriate remedy for improper federal regulations and should be affirmed.

  • April 24, 2024

    Juul Gets Partial Win In FOIA Suit Against FDA For E-Cig Ban Docs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on April 23 granted in part and denied in part opposing motions for summary judgment filed by Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and the Food and Drug Administration in an action brought by JLI to obtain materials documenting the FDA’s decision to deny Juul’s premarket tobacco application (PMTA) and ban its products from the market under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

  • April 23, 2024

    Ohio Judge Enjoins State Law Preempting Local Tobacco Regulation After Cities Sue

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining a state law that would preempt all local tobacco regulations after 14 cities, including Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland, filed a lawsuit claiming that the rule would improperly nullify local bans on sales of flavored tobacco.

  • April 19, 2024

    Tobacco Companies Say Claims Of Smoker With Lung Cancer Properly Dismissed

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two tobacco companies in an April 18 appellee brief in the First District Florida Court of Appeal argue for affirmance of a trial court’s dismissal with prejudice of a second amended complaint filed by a smoker with lung cancer, writing that the smoker failed to allege a product defect or that more health warnings before 1969 would have prevented her from beginning to smoke.

  • April 18, 2024

    Florida Panel Upholds $1.3M Jury Verdict To Smoker’s Daughter

    MIAMI — A Florida Third District Court of Appeals panel on April 17 affirmed a jury’s $1.3 million verdict issued in favor of a dead smoker’s daughter, rejecting arguments by two tobacco companies that the jury was exposed to improper evidence of inflammatory closing arguments.

  • April 18, 2024

    Menthol Vape Company Tells High Court 3rd Circuit Wrongly Upheld FDA Ban

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A vape company filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to review a split Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling upholding the Food and Drug Administration ban of its menthol-flavored vape products, arguing that there “is a clear circuit split” on the propriety of FDA standards for banning flavored e-cigarette products.

  • April 17, 2024

    Florida Jury Awards $34 Million To Estate Of Smoker In Engle Case

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Florida state court jury issued a punitive damages award to the widow and two children of a dead smoker of nearly $26 million, bringing its total verdict in the smoker’s estate’s favor to more than $34 million after a second trial against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) for causing the smoker’s death in his late 30s from smoking-related cancer that spread to his brain.

  • April 16, 2024

    Bidi Urges 11th Circuit To Overturn FDA Ban Of Tobacco-Flavored E-Cigs

    ATLANTA — Bidi Vapor LLC on April 15 filed a merits brief in support of its petition to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s marketing denial order (MDO) banning sales of its tobacco flavored Bidi sticks products, arguing that the court should set aside the MDO in part because the FDA did not properly test its products to determine the risk or benefit they pose to public health.

  • April 16, 2024

    FDA Says High Court Need Not Review 9th Circuit Affirmance Of Flavored Vape Ban

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration in an April 15 response brief urges the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a flavored e-liquid maker’s petition for a writ of certiorari, arguing that the high court should instead grant certiorari on the FDA’s separate petition seeking review of an en banc Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling reversing an FDA ban because that case presents the “full range of legal issues” involved.

  • April 12, 2024

    Judge Says NJOY Can’t Email UCL Suit To Chinese Vape Makers

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge denied as “premature” a motion by e-cigarette maker NJOY LLC, an Altria Group Inc. subsidiary, to permit alternative service to several Chinese e-cigarette manufacturers it accuses of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and federal cigarette regulations by illegally selling “Elf Bar” and other brands of flavored disposable vapes (FDVs).

  • April 08, 2024

    Florida Court Won’t Rehear Tobacco Company’s Challenge To $2.5M Engle Verdict

    MIAMI — A Florida appellate panel on April 5 denied two tobacco companies’ motion for rehearing of their challenge to a jury’s $2.5 million compensatory damages verdict against them in favor of the estate of a smoker who died in 1993 from lung cancer, which the panel affirmed after rejecting arguments that the smoker was actually a New Yorker and that the jury heard improper, inflammatory testimony.

  • April 08, 2024

    New York City Sues Wholesalers In State Court For Selling Flavored, Disposable Vapes

    NEW YORK — New York City filed a complaint in state court seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties against 11 New York state-based wholesalers of flavored and disposable e-cigarette products, which it describes as the “most popular electronic nicotine delivery device among young people,” that the defendants have illegally resold in the city.

  • April 04, 2024

    Court Enters Defense Judgment In Smoker’s Widower’s Wrongful Death Suit

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts state court judge on April 3 entered judgment in favor of two tobacco companies and a local retailer, dismissing all claims brought by the widower of a dead smoker who started smoking around age 10 and smoked for 50 years before dying at 65 from lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

  • April 04, 2024

    Judgment Entered Dismissing Smoker’s Daughter’s Suit Against Tobacco Company

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts state court entered a judgment in favor of a tobacco company after a jury awarded no damages to the daughter of a dead smoker who was diagnosed with lung cancer more than 25 years after quitting smoking.

  • April 03, 2024

    Health Groups Accuse FDA Of ‘Unlawfully Delaying’ Menthol Cigarette Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — Three health advocacy organizations on April 2 filed a second lawsuit in California federal court accusing the Food and Drug Administration, affiliated agencies and their leaders of unlawfully delaying a federal ban of menthol cigarettes, writing that the FDA has failed to act on its announced plans to issue a rule banning menthols by August 2023.

  • April 02, 2024

    Vice Chancellor Denies Philip Morris’ Bid To Intervene In Brand Liability Dispute

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A vice chancellor of the Delaware Chancery Court on April 1 denied as untimely a motion by Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM) to intervene in litigation between Reynolds American Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (collectively, RJR) and ITG Brands LLC regarding ITG’s liability under a settlement with Florida for sales of cigarette brands ITG bought from RJR.

  • April 01, 2024

    First Nations’ Cigarette Maker Says New Oregon ‘Equity’ Law Violates Due Process

    EUGENE, Ore. — A Canadian First Nations-owned cigarette manufacturer filed a suit in Oregon federal court against the state, accusing it of violating due process and the commerce clause by imposing a new nonrefundable payment requirement based on cigarette sales that replaces a decades-old law whereby such payments by cigarette manufacturers went into escrow and were eventually refunded.