Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Big Tobacco Gets Smoked by DC Circuit

By Kevin Fayle on May 22, 2009 3:57 PM

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has largely affirmed a lower court ruling against the Big Tobacco companies which held that the companies violated fraud and racketeering laws by engaging in a decades-long deception about the dangers of smoking. 

The court affirmed the district court's limitation on the marketing of light cigarettes, holding that labels such as "light" or "low tar" are impermissible since those cigarettes haven't been found to have any practical safety benefits over regular cigarettes.
The court also ordered the cigarette companies to issue what it called "corrective statements" concerning the ill effects and addictive nature of smoking and nicotine. 

The court did refuse the government's request to, inter alia, force the cigarette companies to fund a $10 billion stop-smoking program, however, saying that federal law didn't empower the court to order such a remedy. 

Anti-smoking groups called the decision a victory, but expressed disappointment at the court's refusal to allow additional remedies.

This case has been going on for 10 years now, and with billions of dollars on the line, it's unlikely to end here.  A senior vice president for Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, stated that the case needed "further review."

See Also:

Appeals Court Largely Upholds Ruling Vs Tobacco Cos (CNNMoney)
Appeals Court Upholds Landmark RICO Case Against Big Tobacco (The Blog of Legal Times)
Sweeping tobacco ruling headed for Court? (SCOTUSblog)

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options