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Search Results Results 1-10 of 13

United States v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. [United States] [February 08, 2016]

In 1999, the United States filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the major cigarette manufacturers and related trade organizations alleging that defendants, while acting as an enterprise, fraudulently misled American consumers for decades about the risks and dangers of cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke in violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In 2006, the court found that defendants violated RICO and that there was a reasonable likelihood that defendants would continue to violate RICO in the future. On appeal, the district court’s findings were upheld, in part, vacated, in part, and remanded, in part, to the district court. After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from both sides in the case in June 2010, the district court began to implement the 2006 final order.

As a means of preventing future RICO violations, the district court ordered the tobacco companies to issue corrective statements on five topics in which they had misled the public, including the adverse health effects of smoking and the addictiveness of smoking and nicotine. The companies challenged the language of the corrective statements ordered by the court. A previous decision upheld all of the corrective statements with the exception of the introductory sentence. In this decision, the district court found that a revised introductory statement submitted by the government is acceptable because it removes any reference to tobacco companies’ prior deceptive conduct. The judge castigated the tobacco companies for attempting to rewrite the corrective statements entirely, calling it a “ridiculous – a waste of precious time, energy, and money for all concerned – and a loss of information for the public.” The court also refused to change any of the terms in the previously agreed upon consent order. 

United States v. Philip Morris USA [United States] [May 22, 2015]

In 1999, the United States filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the major cigarette manufacturers and related trade organizations alleging that defendants, while acting as an enterprise, fraudulently misled American consumers for decades about the risks and dangers of cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke in violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In 2006, the court found that defendants violated RICO and that there was a reasonable likelihood that defendants would continue to violate RICO in the future. On appeal, the district court’s findings were upheld, in part, vacated, in part, and remanded, in part, to the district court. After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from both sides in the case in June 2010, the district court began to implement the 2006 final order.

As a means of preventing future RICO violations, the district court ordered the tobacco companies to issue corrective statements on five topics in which they had misled the public, including the adverse health effects of smoking and the addictiveness of smoking and nicotine. The companies challenged the language and form of the corrective statements. In this decision, the Court of Appeals found that the tobacco companies had waived their right to challenge the wording of the corrective statements. However, the court found that an introduction to the corrective statements (explaining that a federal court has ruled that tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public) exceeded the scope of scope of remedies allowed under RICO. Finally, the court found that tobacco companies had waived their right to challenge the distribution of corrective statements via company websites, cigarette packages, and newspaper and television ads.

Doctors for You v. State of Bihar [India] [August 11, 2014]

Doctors for You, a non-governmental organization, sued the State of Bihar seeking implementation of various provisions of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). In response to the petition, the court ordered that signs informing the public about the negative effects of tobacco be posted at all government primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools as soon as possible. Additionally, the court ordered the local police to create a monthly report about enforcement of the Act and submit the report to various government agencies.

United States v. Philip Morris USA [United States] [June 02, 2014]

In 1999, the United States filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the major cigarette manufacturers and related trade organizations alleging that defendants, while acting as an enterprise, fraudulently misled American consumers for decades about the risks and dangers of cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke in violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In 2006, the court found that defendants violated RICO and that there was a reasonable likelihood that defendants would continue to violate RICO in the future. On appeal, the district court’s findings were upheld, in part, vacated, in part, and remanded, in part, to the district court. After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from both sides in the case in June 2010, the district court began to implement the 2006 final order.

In this Order, the District Court approved a revised proposal by the parties on how the corrective statements would be displayed in four different media (television, websites, newspapers, and cigarette packaging).

Dinar Yashwant Sohoni v. State of Maharashtra [India] [February 25, 2014]

A public interest lawsuit requested implementation of the rule requiring educational institutions to post a sign stating that cigarettes and other tobacco products may not be sold within a 100 yard radius of a school. The court found this requirement mandatory and ordered the state government’s Education Department to instruct all schools to implement the rule before the start of the 2014-2015 academic year.

United States v. Philip Morris USA [United States] [November 27, 2012]

In 1999, the United States filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the major cigarette manufacturers and related trade organizations alleging that defendants, while acting as an enterprise, fraudulently misled American consumers for decades about the risks and dangers of cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke in violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In 2006, the court found that defendants violated RICO and that there was a reasonable likelihood that defendants would continue to violate RICO in the future. On appeal, the district court’s findings were upheld, in part, vacated, in part, and remanded, in part, to the district court. After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from both sides in the case in June 2010, the district court began to implement the 2006 final order.

This opinion by the District Court specifies language the tobacco companies must publish to correct previous false and misleading conduct by the tobacco companies.  The court announces five subject headings each with specific corrective statements. After describing the required language the court provides a detailed legal analysis of the First Amendment grounds supporting the requirements.  The court then dismisses other alternative challenges brought by the tobacco companies.

Salazar Jiménez v. Costa Rica [Costa Rica] [May 14, 2010]

Following the death of her husband, the plaintiff sought compensation from the State of Costa Rica for damages caused by her husband's tobacco addiction. The plaintiff claimed that the State was liable for her husband's death for improperly regulating the tobacco industry, the omission of information, negligence, and breaking its duties to protect its citizens from the harms of tobacco. The plaintiff also claimed that the State failed to meet its obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) by failing to adequately regulate warnings, packaging, and advertising of tobacco, as well as conducting inadequate preventive campaigns. The plaintiff argued that the Costa Rican Tobacco Regulation Law paled in comparison to the requirements of the FCTC. The Court ruled that there was insufficient evidence demonstrating negligence by the State in protection the people from the harms of tobacco, as was required by the law and the FCTC. Consequently, the Court concluded that the plaintiff's addiction resulting in his death derived from his own decision to smoke and that the State carried its responsibility properly. The appeal was dismissed.   

American Legacy Foundation v. Lorillard Tobacco [United States] [July 17, 2006]

In this decision of the Supreme Court of Delaware, Lorillard Tobacco challenged the advertising of the American Legacy Foundation as a violation of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between 46 states Attorney Generals and the nation’s largest tobacco companies.  The terms of the MSA created and funded Legacy to advocate against smoking and tobacco use, but also included limitations on how Legacy could advocate.  One of the limitations was that Legacy could not participate in "vilification" or "personal attacks" of the tobacco companies or their executives.  Among its advocacy efforts, Legacy developed an advertising campaign called “The Truth” (http://www.thetruth.com/) which created advertisements targeted at catching the attention of young people.  Lorillard challenged the ads as a violation of the MSA, claiming they vilified and personally attacked the company and its employees.   Agreeing with the Chancery Court, the Supreme Court held the advertisements did not meet the legal standard of vilification or personal attacks.  While expressly excluding the dictionary citations offered by the parties, the Court looked at the use of the words in prior case law to determine their legal meaning.  The Court found vilification to indicate strong negativity above disparagement and personal attacks to require specific individual targeting.  Applying these definitions to the challenged advertisements the Court agreed with the summary judgment of the trial court and dismissed Lorillard’s contract claim.

Table Bluff Reservation (Wiyot Tribe), et al. v. Philip Morris, Inc., et al. [United States] [July 16, 2001]

Several American Indian tribes brought an action against tobacco companies claiming that provisions of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) entered into by the companies with state and territorial governments violated their rights.  The tribes argued, among other things: (1) that the MSA's application outdoor tobacco advertisement regulations to tribal lands violated their tribal sovereignty; (2) that their exclusion from the MSA negotiations and the monetary benefits resulting from the MSA violated both equal protection and the right to make and enforce contracts; and (3) that increased prices for cigarettes resulting from the MSA violated due process.  The Court held that the tribes lacked standing to bring their claims due to the failure of the tribes to declare or demonstrate any injury in fact caused by these allegations.

Master Settlement Agreement [United States] [November 01, 1998]

In the 1990s, 46 states and several territories sued major tobacco companies to recover tobacco-related health care costs. In a settlement of these lawsuits, the states agreed to dismiss their claims. In exchange, the tobacco companies agreed to a series of marketing restrictions and to pay the states more than $200 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement. Specifically, the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) requires that participating tobacco companies (1) restrict their advertising, sponsorship, lobbying, and litigation activities, particularly those activities that are seen as targeting youth (including a ban on tobacco billboards and cartoon advertising and limits on event sponsorship); (2) dissolve three specific tobacco trade groups; (3) make public the documents that the participating tobacco companies had disclosed during the litigation; (4) fund an anti-tobacco education campaign through the creation of the American Legacy Foundation; and (5) make annual payments to the settling states forever.

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