Mealey's Tobacco

  • July 10, 2023

    Jury Awards Dead Smoker’s Daughter $132,000 For Lung Cancer Death After Engle Trial

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida jury awarded a dead smoker’s daughter $132,000 in compensatory damages against a tobacco company for causing the smoker’s addiction to cigarettes, which led to her death from lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • July 07, 2023

    Right Of Way Smoking Ban Row With Oil Company Sent Back To Tribal Court

    ST. LOUIS — An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled that a federal judge erred by enjoining Indian landowners, a tribal judge and tribal court from prosecuting claims against an energy company for violating a ban on smoking on a right of way granted to the company that ran through the landowners’ property, ruling that the energy company must first exhaust its remedies before the tribe’s appellate court.

  • July 06, 2023

    Massachusetts High Court Rejects Smokers’ Wrongful Death Suits As Untimely

    BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today affirmed the dismissal of two wrongful death actions brought by the estates of deceased smokers against tobacco companies as time-barred, writing that because wrongful death suits are “derivative” actions, the statute of limitations begins to accrue based on the date of injury, not the smoker’s death.

  • July 05, 2023

    FTC Drops Case Against Altria, Juul After Companies Part Ways

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission on July 3 dismissed its administrative complaint alleging antitrust claims against tobacco company Altria Group Inc. and e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI), writing that “the case no longer serves the public interest” after Altria voluntarily unwound its investment in JLI, but also saying an administrative law judge (ALJ) erred in recommending dismissal of the complaint.

  • June 27, 2023

    Juul MDL Plaintiffs Seek Approval Of $255M Settlement, $76M In Attorney Fees

    SAN FRANCISCO — The lead plaintiffs’ counsel in the multidistrict litigation against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI), its board members and executives moved in California federal court for final approval of a $255 million class settlement with the JLI defendants on behalf of a class bringing economic loss claims, and separately moved for approval of $76 million in attorney fees.

  • June 21, 2023

    Tobacco Companies Must Post Discovery From Juul MDL Online, Judge Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge granted a motion filed by public health groups and ruled that a 2006 order requiring Altria Group Inc. and Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM) to post evidence of their past deceptive marketing online also applies to discovery obtained from the companies during the recent multidistrict litigation against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI).

  • June 20, 2023

    2nd Circuit Affirms FDA Ban Of Vape Company’s Flavored Pods

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the Food and Drug Administration’s issuance of a marketing denial order (MDO) banning sales of a vape company’s flavored pods for use in e-cigarette products, finding that the FDA’s order was “well within its statutory authority” and that the vape company failed to establish any violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

  • June 20, 2023

    Jury Finds Dead Smoker Failed To Prove Addiction In Engle Trial

    TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida jury returned a defense verdict in an Engle trial on claims brought by the three adult children of a smoker who died at 46 from lung cancer, rejecting the children’s claim that their mother was deceived into smoking filtered cigarettes. VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 16, 2023

    N.C. Supreme Court Reverses Dismissal Of Exploding Vape Case Against Battery Maker

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Supreme Court on June 16 reversed a split appellate panel’s ruling affirming the dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of a man’s personal injury lawsuit against a South Korean battery maker and its U.S. subsidiary for burns he suffered after an e-cigarette device exploded in his pocket, ordering the trial court to reconsider its jurisdictional rulings in light of new U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

  • June 15, 2023

    Florida Supreme Court: Despite $16M Loss, Smoker’s Sister May Seek Attorney Fees

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on June 15 provisionally granted a dead smoker’s sister’s motion for attorney fees from a tobacco company, despite its prior affirmance of the reversal of a $16 million damages award in her favor, finding that Florida’s proposal for settlement (PFS) statute is not limited to prevailing parties and that an affirmed compensatory damages judgment in her favor triggers the statute.

  • June 12, 2023

    Virgin Islands Judge Dismisses Tobacco Company From Smoker’s Lawsuit

    CHRISTIANSTED, St. Croix — A U.S. Virgin Islands judge dismissed one tobacco company from a smoker’s pending lawsuit against it, another tobacco company, a wholesaler and two retailers for selling him cigarettes that caused him to develop bladder cancer and heart disease, two weeks after denying the wholesaler’s motion for summary judgment.

  • June 12, 2023

    Dead Smoker Claimed ‘Right’ To Smoke Despite Risks, Tobacco Company Tells Jurors

    TAMPA, Fla. — An attorney for a tobacco company told a Florida state court jury during opening arguments that it should reject claims brought in an Engle trial by the three children of a smoker who died at 46 from lung cancer, arguing that the smoker ignored advice to quit and said she had a “right” to smoke, while her adult children’s attorney says the smoker was deceived into smoking filtered cigarettes.  VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 09, 2023

    Judge Awards Juul $2M Against Counterfeiters After Bench Trial

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on June 8 filed findings of fact and conclusions of law after a bench trial, finding in favor of Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) on its claims for violation of federal trademark statutes and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) against a Chinese national and his companies in relation to the sales of counterfeit Juul products and awarding JLI $2 million in damages plus attorney fees.

  • June 08, 2023

    Company Says Synthetic Nicotine Applications Were Wrongly Denied By FDA

    DALLAS — An e-cigarette company filed a lawsuit in Texas federal court accusing the Food and Drug Administration of “arbitrarily” rejecting its applications for approval of synthetic nicotine-based e-liquids for use in electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products based on the FDA’s “own failure” to issue tracking numbers to the plaintiff’s applications.

  • June 08, 2023

    Judgment Entered Resolving Years-Long Rolling Papers Trademark Dispute

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge entered an amended judgment after a jury trial, ending a seven-year litigation between the makers of “Raw” and “OCB” rolling papers, with Raw’s maker awarded more than $1.5 million on its counterclaims for copyright infringement and lost profits while agreeing to pay $665,000 in attorney fees to OCB’s makers for fees incurred on its designation-of-origin claim.

  • June 06, 2023

    Widow, Tobacco Companies Answer Smoker’s Kids’ Claims Before Florida Supreme Court

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The widow of a smoker filed a jurisdictional brief in Florida Supreme Court opposing an appellate panel’s ruling dismissing the smoker’s children’s claims for damages as part of the wrongful death lawsuit she filed as personal representative of the smoker’s estate, while the two tobacco companies she sued in a brief filed the same day write that the panel decision dismissing the children’s claim for damages was nonfinal and unappealable.

  • June 06, 2023

    FTC Pauses Altria, Juul Appeal After Investment Unwound

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission published online its order withdrawing an appeal of an administrative ruling recommending dismissal of its antitrust claims against tobacco company Altria Group Inc. and e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) from adjudication to allow consideration of new evidence including that Altria is voluntarily unwinding its investment in JLI and both companies are now seeking settlement.

  • June 05, 2023

    Chinese Vaping Company Concealed Risk Before $1.4B IPO, 2nd Circuit Told

    NEW YORK — Three Chinese vaping company investors in a June 2 reply brief tell the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the dismissal of their putative securities class action against the company should be reversed, asserting that they adequately alleged that the company made misleading statements about the Chinese government’s planned regulatory scheme for e-cigarettes that led them to overestimate its financial prospects before a $1.4 billion initial public offering (IPO).

  • June 05, 2023

    $5.5M Class Settlement Of Tobacco Surcharge, Wage-And-Hour Claims Gets Final OK

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge has granted final approval to a $5.5 million class settlement of a suit over wage-and-hour claims and allegations that a group health plan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by imposing a tobacco surcharge without meeting safe harbor requirements.

  • June 01, 2023

    Panel Vacates Half Of $20M Judgment Against RJR For Smoker’s Cancer Death

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts appellate court vacated a jury’s $11,275,000 punitive damages award against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) from a $21 million judgment against it for causing a smoker’s addiction to cigarettes and death from cancer and remanded the case for a new trial after finding that the trial court should have entered a directed verdict on the estate’s negligent marketing claim.

  • May 26, 2023

    Sellers Of Disposable Vapes Ask 6th Circuit To Review Injunction In Trademark Row

    CINCINNATI — A distributor of disposable e-cigarette products and several retailers on May 25 filed a notice of interlocutory appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking to challenge a district court’s ruling preliminarily enjoining them from sales of vapes with a mark “remarkably similar” to a trademark-holder’s without requiring the trademark-holder to post a $1.8 million bond for their alleged future lost sales.

  • May 25, 2023

    Tobacco Company Sues California For Banning New ‘Non-Menthol’ Cigarettes

    FRESNO, Calif. — R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJRT), a California retail association and the owners of two California retailers filed a lawsuit in California state court against the attorney general and Fresno county district attorney claiming that RJR’s new cigarettes containing a “cooling” ingredient and crushable filter capsule that “mellows” the tobacco flavor have been wrongly identified by the state as flavored products.

  • May 23, 2023

    Texas Supreme Court Affirms Jurisdiction Over Battery Maker In Exploding Vape Case

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court affirmed a trial court’s finding of personal jurisdiction over a Korean battery-maker and its U.S. subsidiary in a personal injury lawsuit brought against them by a man who was burned after a battery they manufactured exploded in his e-cigarette device, rejecting their defense that they did not intend for their batteries to be sold for standalone use in e-cigarettes.

  • May 22, 2023

    Jury Finds Smoker’s Engle Claims Against Tobacco Company Time-Barred

    MIAMI — A Florida state court jury on May 19 returned a defense verdict in an Engle lawsuit brought against a tobacco company by the estate of a dead smoker after finding the claims time-barred because the smoker’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) manifested before May 5, 1990.  VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • May 19, 2023

    Juul, Altria Will Pay Minnesota $60.5M To Settle Youth Marketing Claims

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota attorney general released a consent judgment entered into in state court among the attorney general, e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and Altria Group Inc. and its subsidiaries, under which JLI and Altria will pay $60.5 million to settle the state’s claims against them for contributing to a youth vaping epidemic.

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