Mealey's Tobacco

  • December 01, 2023

    Tobacco Company Says $8.1M Engle Judgment Tainted By Jury Errors

    MIAMI — A tobacco company filed a brief in Florida appellate court challenging an $8.1 million compensatory damages judgment awarded to three children of a smoker who died in 1996 from lung cancer after smoking two to three packs of cigarettes a day for more than 30 years, writing that the judgment should be reversed and remanded due to two jury-related errors by the court.

  • December 01, 2023

    1989 Case Proves County’s Right To Ban Flavored Tobacco, Oregon Appeals Court Told

    SALEM, Ore. — An Oregon county filed a second supplemental authority in its pending challenge before the Oregon Court of Appeals of a county circuit court judge’s order blocking its ban of flavored tobacco as preempted by state law, asserting that case law proves that state regulations of product standards do not prohibit counties from banning those products.

  • November 30, 2023

    California Flavored Tobacco Ban Creates No Conflict, High Court Told

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Nov. 29 brief to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by tobacco companies and a retailers’ association challenging California’s flavored tobacco ban, Attorney General Rob Bonta and San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan say the court should deny review because no conflict exists regarding local rights to ban tobacco products under federal regulations.

  • November 29, 2023

    Jury Awards $11M To Estate For Smoker’s Lung Cancer Death

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida state court jury awarded $10 million in punitive damages against only one tobacco company defendant after awarding $1 million in compensatory damages against it and another tobacco company in favor of the estate of a woman who died from lung cancer after smoking for more than 40 years.  VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • November 29, 2023

    Panel Urged To Reverse No Cancer Finding In Engle Case By Smoker’s Widow

    MIAMI — A dead smoker’s widow tells a Florida appellate panel in a reply brief that it should reverse a defense judgment against her and remand her case for a new trial, arguing that the jury’s finding that her dead husband did not have lung cancer was likely the result of improperly admitted deposition testimony and the court’s improper jury instructions.

  • November 28, 2023

    New York City Opposes Flavored Disposable Vape Sellers’ Bid To Dismiss Suit

    NEW YORK — New York City on Nov. 27 filed a brief opposing two defendants’ motion to dismiss its complaint accusing multiple sellers of e-cigarette devices of illegally netting millions of dollars in profit while selling flavored vape devices in violation of federal, state and city laws, writing that the motion makes “straw man” arguments and that its claims are all sufficiently pleaded.

  • November 28, 2023

    9th Circuit Grants E-Liquid Maker’s Request For Denial In Challenge To FDA Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel granted an e-liquids maker’s request for a denial of its petition challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s ban of its products based on controlling circuit precedent, which the petitioner had requested while preserving its right to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for “further review.”

  • November 21, 2023

    Cigar Company Wins $10.8M In Fees On Breach Of Contract Claim Despite CEO’s Fraud

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge found that cigarillo company Trendsettah USA Inc. is entitled to $10.8 million in attorney fees and disbursements against Swisher International Inc. on a breach of contract claim, despite Trendsettah’s former CEO’s conviction for fraud, and also awarded prejudgment interest and denied Trendsettah’s motion to vacate an earlier attorney fee award in Swisher’s favor.

  • November 17, 2023

    Panel Upholds $3.3M Judgment Against Philip Morris For Smoker’s Death From COPD

    MIAMI — A Florida appellate panel on Nov. 15 affirmed a trial court’s entry of a $3.3 million judgment in favor of a Cuban immigrant’s estate against a tobacco company that a jury previously found liable for hooking him on cigarettes and causing his death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), finding that the trial court did not err by denying the company’s pretrial motion for summary judgment.

  • November 14, 2023

    Synthetic Nicotine E-Cigarette Maker Dismisses Suit After FDA Rescinds Denial

    DALLAS — A Texas federal court on Nov. 13 terminated an e-cigarette company’s suit challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s rejection of its applications for approval of synthetic nicotine-based e-liquid products after the plaintiff filed a notice of voluntary dismissal, citing the FDA’s rescission of its letter refusing to accept the applications.

  • November 13, 2023

    Smoker’s Widow Seeks Rehearing After Florida Panel Reverses $2M Punitive Award

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A dead smoker’s widow filed a motion urging a Fourth District Florida Court of Appeal panel to rehear, rehear en banc or clarify its ruling reversing a trial court’s denial of a tobacco company’s motion for new trial on punitive damages after the jury awarded the widow $2 million for her Engle claims.

  • November 10, 2023

    Vice Chancellor Grants TRO Barring Juul’s Planned Debt Conversion

    WILMINGTON, Del. — The Delaware Chancery Court on Nov. 9 unsealed a vice chancellor’s order granting a temporary restraining order (TRO) sought by a group of financial entities that own $1.9 billion worth of notes issued by e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and granted the noteholders’ motion to expedite their suit seeking to stop JLI from converting debt into equity “worth a fraction of its value,” allegedly as part of a plan by “certain JUUL insiders to plunder the Company for their own benefit.”

  • November 10, 2023

    Judge Denies Dead Smoker’s Daughter’s Bid To Renew Claims Against Local Retailer

    ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge denied a dead smoker’s daughter’s motion for leave to amend her wrongful death lawsuit against a tobacco company to restore claims against a local retailer and remand the suit to state court, writing that the daughter failed to provide new evidence showing that the retailer was wrongly dismissed as an “innocent seller.”

  • November 09, 2023

    Ban On Tobacco Sales To People Born After 2000 Scrutinized By Mass. High Court

    BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court questioned attorneys representing Brookline, Mass., and local tobacco retailers over whether the town’s law banning sales of tobacco products to people born after 2000 is permissible under state tobacco regulations or whether it is a preempted minimum age restriction.

  • November 07, 2023

    Mass. High Court Hears Widow, Tobacco Companies Debate Time Limitations On Trial

    BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments from a smoker’s widow, two tobacco companies and a local retailer who dispute whether the widow was denied the right to a fair trial by a judge’s imposition of time limits on the trial that she says hampered her presentation of evidence, with opposing counsel saying the time limitations were appropriate.

  • November 03, 2023

    Dunkin’ Donuts Settles Infringement Suit Against ‘Vapin’ Donuts’ E-Cig Company

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The parent company of the Dunkin’ Donuts chain and an affiliated company filed in New York federal court a joint notice of settlement of claims against an e-cigarette company and its CEO for trademark infringement by using a logo “nearly identical” to that of Dunkin’ Donuts to boost sales of their “Vapin’ Donuts” e-cigarette products.

  • October 31, 2023

    Juul, Altria Seek To Compel Arbitration Of E-Cig Buyers’ Antitrust Complaint

    SAN FRANCISCO — E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and two of the company’s directors moved in California federal court to compel arbitration and stay or strike and dismiss an antitrust class complaint accusing JLI and Altria Group Inc. of artificially increasing prices based on anti-competitive conduct, writing that the claims are based on a Federal Trade Commission complaint that has since been withdrawn.

  • October 31, 2023

    Vuse Maker, Retailers Oppose FDA’s Bid To Dismiss Or Transfer Challenges To Ban

    NEW ORLEANS — R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. (RJRV) and affiliates on Oct. 30 filed a brief in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opposing the Food and Drug Administration’s motion to dismiss or transfer their petition for review of FDA’s decision banning sales of RJRV’s menthol- and berry-flavored Vuse e-cigarette products, writing that the Fifth Circuit has previously rejected challenges to venue concerning the same parties.

  • October 31, 2023

    Amici Urge Supreme Court To Overturn California’s Flavored Tobacco Ban

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of e-cigarette businesses and industry associations on Oct. 30 filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to grant a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by a tobacco companies and a retailers’ association that are challenging the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ affirmance of California’s flavored tobacco ban, asserting that the ban interferes with federal regulation of e-cigarettes.

  • October 24, 2023

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

    MIAMI — A dead smoker’s daughter in her answer brief urges the Florida Third District Court of Appeals to reject two tobacco companies’ challenge to a jury’s $1.3 million verdict issued in her favor after the jury found that the companies caused her father’s addiction to nicotine, leading him to become a chain smoker for more than 40 years.

  • October 24, 2023

    Split 3rd Circuit Panel Upholds FDA Ban Of Menthol Vape Products

    PHILADELPHIA — A split Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel denied a vape company’s petition for review of the Food and Drug Administration’s decision banning its menthol-flavored vape products, with the majority finding that the FDA properly reviewed and denied the company’s applications while a dissenting judge said the FDA improperly changed its policy on menthol-flavored products with the company’s application pending.

  • October 20, 2023

    NJOY Sues 30 Sellers Of Disposable Flavored Vapes For Violating California Laws

    LOS ANGELES — E-cigarette maker NJOY LLC, a subsidiary of Altria Group Inc., on Oct. 19 filed a complaint in California federal court against 30 manufacturers of flavored disposable vapes (FDVs), accusing them of harming its business by selling flavored tobacco products without Food and Drug Administration approval in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and a statewide ban on flavored tobacco sales.

  • October 18, 2023

    Washington Panel:  Tribes Have Inherent Authority To Tax Tobacco On Reservations

    SEATTLE — An arbitration panel fundamentally misunderstood tribal sovereignty when it found that tribal excise taxes on tobacco sales on reservations in Washington were authorized by the state through compact agreements it entered into with several tribes after the state had reached a settlement with tobacco companies over cigarette sales, a Washington appellate panel held in affirming a trial court’s interpretation of the terms of the legislation that was enacted in accordance with the settlement.

  • October 16, 2023

    Supreme Court Grants Certiorari In 2nd Challenge To Chevron Deference

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 13 granted a petition for a writ of certiorari in a second case challenging the doctrine of Chevron deference and ordered that it be briefed on a schedule allowing argument “in tandem” with a pending case pertaining to the same issue, both of which involve challenges to regulations that require fishing vessels to pay federal monitors.

  • October 10, 2023

    High Court Won’t Review Flavored Vape Companies’ Challenge To FDA Ban

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 10 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by a group of affiliated flavored vape companies seeking review of a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling upholding the Food and Drug Administration’s ban of their products, which the companies said was improperly based on changed evidentiary standards and disregarded their marketing to plan to limit underage use.

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