Mealey's Tobacco

  • February 01, 2024

    Panel Affirms $2.5M Compensatory Damages Award To Smoker’s Estate In Engle Case

    MIAMI — A Florida appellate panel on Jan. 31 affirmed a $2.5 million compensatory damages verdict issued against two tobacco companies in favor of the estate of a smoker who died in 1993 from lung cancer, rejecting arguments that an expert witness’s comment that smoking may have caused the smoker’s ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage were improper or inflammatory.

  • January 31, 2024

    Mandate Issued, Panel Won’t Rehear Reversal Of Smoker’s Widow’s $2M Punitive Award

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Fourth District Florida Court of Appeal on Jan. 30 issued a mandate after denying a motion for rehearing of its ruling reversing a $2 million punitive damages award in favor of a dead smoker’s widow on her Engle claims against a tobacco company.

  • January 31, 2024

    Bidi Challenges New FDA Ban Of Tobacco-Flavored Disposable E-Cigarettes

    ATLANTA — Bidi Vapor LLC filed a 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, which it received more than a year after it won a set-aside and remand of the FDA’s ban of its flavored e-cigarette products before the same court.

  • January 26, 2024

    Tribal Corporation Is Immune In Cigarette Sales Dispute, Calif. Federal Judge Finds

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A tribal corporation is entitled to sovereign immunity from claims brought against it by California for the corporation’s allegedly illegal sales and distribution of cigarettes because the corporation acts on behalf of Alturas Indian Rancheria to the extent that it is an “arm of the tribe,” a California federal judge found in partly granting the corporation’s motion to dismiss.

  • January 25, 2024

    High Court Urged To Review Circuit Split Over ‘De Facto’ Ban Of Flavored Vapes

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A flavored vape company argues in a petition for a writ of certiorari that the U.S. Supreme Court must address a circuit split over the e-cigarette regulatory scheme implemented by the Food and Drug Administration, which it says implemented a de facto ban of flavored e-cigarette products without notifying applicants and “violated” high court precedent regarding “fair warning” to regulated companies.

  • January 24, 2024

    Judge Remands Baltimore’s Cigarette Filters Lawsuit Against Tobacco Companies

    BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal judge granted the mayor and City Council of Baltimore’s motion to remand their public nuisance suit against six tobacco companies for contributing to litter by selling cigarettes with non-biodegradable filters, finding that the state law claims attacking cigarette filters do not implicate federal legal questions and are not preempted by federal law.

  • January 22, 2024

    High Court Won’t Review Owner’s Individual Liability In Tobacco Trademark Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by a wholesale company and its owner seeking review of whether the owner may be held individually liable under the Lanham Act for an $11 million trademark infringement judgment despite his argument that he did not knowingly commit an act of infringement, which they claimed is the subject of a circuit split.

  • January 19, 2024

    Tobacco Company Says $6M Verdict For Dead Smoker’s Children Based On ‘Forgery’

    MIAMI — A tobacco company tells a Florida appellate court in a Jan. 18 opening brief that a $6 million verdict against it should be reversed because the jury found that a smoker who died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was an Engle class member based on medical evidence that the treating physician called “a forgery.”

  • January 18, 2024

    E-Cigarette MDL Plaintiffs Seek Final Approval Of $45M Settlement With Altria

    SAN FRANCISCO — The plaintiffs in multidistrict litigation in California federal court against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and tobacco company Altria Group Inc. and its subsidiaries filed motions for final approval of a $45 million settlement with Altria and a roughly $13.7 million attorney fee award to resolve the economic loss claims of JLI e-cigarette purchasers.

  • January 17, 2024

    High Court Told ‘Chaos’ Will Ensue ‘In A World Without Chevron’ Deference

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court was told Jan. 17 that “chaos” will ensue “in a world without Chevron” deference by government attorneys, who urged it to apply stare decisis and uphold Chevron, which is being challenged in two cases arising out of federal fishing regulations.

  • January 12, 2024

    Dead Smoker’s Representative Says $8.8M Judgment Still Final Despite Amendment

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The representative of a dead smoker’s estate filed an appellee brief urging a Florida appellate panel to reject a tobacco company’s argument that an $8.8 million compensatory damages award in her favor must be reduced to $295,000, arguing that the underlying judgment in her favor is still final despite amendments made after the death of the smoker’s statutory survivor.

  • January 12, 2024

    2nd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Securities Fraud Claims Against Philip Morris

    NEW YORK — Addressing two matters of first impression, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s dismissal of securities fraud claims brought by shareholders against tobacco company Philip Morris International Inc. and several of its executives based on its statements regarding its studies of heat-not-burn tobacco products, rejecting shareholder claims that PM made material misrepresentations about the products.

  • January 08, 2024

    High Court Won’t Review California’s Statewide Ban Of Flavored Tobacco Products

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by tobacco companies and a retailers’ association challenging California’s voter-back ban of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol, which they had argued was preempted by federal regulations under past high court precedent.

  • January 08, 2024

    Smoker’s Widow Tells Panel Hard Drug Evidence Properly Excluded From Trial

    MIAMI — A dead smoker’s widow in a Jan. 5 appellee brief urges a Florida appellate panel to reject a tobacco company’s argument challenging a $5 million Engle verdict in her favor on the basis that the trial court excluded evidence of the smoker’s use of crack and heroin, arguing that the evidence at issue is unreliable and relates only to alleged late-life use after the smoker’s lung cancer diagnosis.

  • January 04, 2024

    En Banc 5th Circuit Remands FDA Vape Ban Orders, Cites ‘Regulatory Switcheroos’

    NEW ORLEANS — The en banc Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 3 ruled by majority that the Food and Drug Administration acted arbitrarily and capriciously by banning two vape companies’ products from the market, writing that the FDA “sent manufacturers of flavored e-cigarette products on a wild goose chase” with its instructions for seeking regulatory approval and rejecting its argument that any error was harmless.

  • January 02, 2024

    Oregon Appeals Court Stays Portland Flavored Tobacco Ban Challenged By Businesses

    SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Court of Appeals stayed a countywide ban of flavored tobacco sales that was due to take effect Jan. 1 but is being challenged on appeal by an Oregon tobacco and e-cigarette industry association, an e-cigarette store and its owner, who claim that the ban will destroy local tobacco businesses.

  • December 20, 2023

    Amendments To Rule 702 For Expert Witness Testimony Go Into Effect

    Amendments to Federal Rule of Evidence 702, Fed. R. Evid. 702, went into effect to clarify how courts should decide the admissibility of expert testimony.

  • December 19, 2023

    Smoker With Lung Cancer Says Claims Wrongly Dismissed For Lack Of ‘Defect’

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A smoker with lung cancer on Dec. 18 filed an appellant brief in the First District Florida Court of Appeal seeking reversal of a trial court’s dismissal of her complaint without leave to amend, arguing that the court improperly disregarded Florida precedent in finding that she failed to allege that the cigarettes she smoked were defective based on tobacco companies’ manipulation of their nicotine levels.

  • December 19, 2023

    Juul MDL Judge Approves $76.5M Attorney Fees Award

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Dec. 18 approved an attorney fees award worth more than $76.5 million to be paid out of a $255 million class settlement resolving multidistrict litigation claims against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and approved an attorney fees committee’s recommendation for allocation of common benefit fees to 62 plaintiffs’ firms that participated in the suit.

  • December 13, 2023

    E-Cig Buyers Say Juul’s Arbitration Agreement Doesn’t Bar Antitrust Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — A group of direct purchaser plaintiffs (DPPs) that sued e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI), tobacco company Altria Group Inc. and certain corporate officers for violations of antitrust law in California federal court filed a brief opposing JLI’s motion to compel arbitration and strike their class allegations, writing that JLI’s online purchase page provides insufficient notice of an arbitration agreement.

  • December 08, 2023

    Cancer Patient, Wife Win $20.7M Against Tobacco Company In Massachusetts Trial

    WOBURN, Mass. — A Massachusetts state court jury awarded a verdict worth more than $20.7 million in compensatory damages to a smoker with oral cancer and his wife against two tobacco companies and a local retailer after hearing that the smoker got hooked in the early 1960s before cigarette packs had warning labels and was unable to quit smoking until 2020, after his second cancer diagnosis.  VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • December 07, 2023

    San Francisco Says Online Companies Are Violating Flavored E-Cigarettes Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office filed a lawsuit in California state court against three e-cigarette distributors based in California that the office claims are violating San Francisco’s bans on e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco by selling flavored e-cigarette products online and shipping the products into the city, seeking penalties under California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • December 07, 2023

    5th Circuit Mulls FDA’s Right To Require Graphic Tobacco Warnings

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other parties’ appeal challenging a federal court’s order vacating a new graphic warnings requirement for tobacco products, which the government argued correctly depict the health effects of tobacco products while tobacco companies’ counsel said the warnings will confuse consumers.

  • December 04, 2023

    Smoker’s Widow Tells Panel ‘Erroneous’ Legal Moves Deprived Her Of Punitives

    MIAMI — A smoker’s widow argues in Dec. 4 reply brief to a Florida appellate panel that it should reverse a trial court’s grant of summary judgment on her claim for punitive damages against a tobacco company for causing her husband’s coronary artery disease (CAD), lung cancer and death, contending that she was wrongly prevented from seeking punitives at trial based on an “erroneous” defense by the tobacco company that it later voluntarily withdrew.

  • December 04, 2023

    Tobacco Sellers Ask Court To Stay Portland Flavored Tobacco Ban Pending Appeal

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregonian tobacco and e-cigarette industry association, an e-cigarette store and its owner urge an Oregon state court in a reply brief to stay entry of judgment allowing a countywide ban of flavored tobacco sales pending the outcome of the plaintiffs’ appeal, citing a pending appeal on a similar ban and arguing that the ban will destroy local tobacco businesses.

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