PHILADELPHIA — The city of Philadelphia and the leader of its health department in a Feb. 24 appellant brief tell the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court erred in enjoining enforcement of its ordinance restricting the sales of flavored cigars and roll-your-own tobacco products, arguing that the ordinance is not preempted by state law and that a cigar industry association and group of tobacco manufacturers challenging the ordinance failed to prove that it will cause them irreparable harm.
DENVER — A Colorado resident and group of discount cigarette manufacturers on Feb. 22 filed an agreed motion for voluntary dismissal without prejudice of their appeal before the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a district court’s denial of their motion for a preliminary injunction to block the state from hiking prices on cigarettes to a minimum of $7 per pack under a new law that took effect Jan. 1.
PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon jury on Feb. 19 found a tobacco company not liable for fraud in a lawsuit brought by a woman with terminal lung cancer and her husband who had claimed that tobacco companies concealed the risks of smoking. VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
ATLANTA — Two plaintiffs suing a lithium battery maker for injuries allegedly caused when batteries exploded in their ecigarette devices and burned them on Feb. 17 filed a joint reply brief in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that Georgia law does not require them to be in privity to the manufacturer to pursue a product liability action against it.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Food and Drug Administration and their acting leaders in a Feb. 12 appellee brief to the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals say that tobacco industry associations’ challenges to the FDA’s deeming rule regulating cigars and pipe tobacco products are meritless, that the associations are challenging statutory requirements imposed by Congress and that any errors in the implementation of the rule are not errors in the rule itself.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appellate panel on Feb. 10 reversed the entry of judgment for $10.6 million in favor of a deceased smoker’s children and ordered a new trial on all issues after finding that the trial court erred by allowing backward-looking hearsay testimony about the smoker’s belief that filtered cigarettes were safer to establish reliance in fraud claims
PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon jury on Feb. 11 heard opening statements in a couple’s lawsuit against a tobacco company for $139.7 million in damages for the woman’s terminal lung cancer, with the plaintiffs’ attorney asserting that the tobacco company concealed the risks of smoking while counsel for the tobacco company says the smoker knew the risks but did not attempt to quit until just prior to her cancer diagnosis.
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 8 affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a Canadian First Nations-owned cigarette manufacturer’s constitutional challenge to a Connecticut state regulation requiring detailed import and sales records after finding that potential discrepancies in the manufacturer’s records caused by sales in Indian country will not immediately cause the manufacturer to lose its sales license.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on Feb. 4 declined a request by cigar and pipe tobacco industry associations to vacate premarket review requirements for premium cigars, which the judge previously remanded to the Food and Drug Administration, writing that vacatur is not “warranted or available.”
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Fourth District Florida Court of Appeal panel with one judge dissenting on Feb. 3 granted a petition to disqualify a trial court judge from hearing a lawsuit against a tobacco company due to the judge’s past ex parte communication with the plaintiffs’ attorney, which had also led to the judge’s disqualification in 2019 from hearing 12 other Engle cases.
SAN FRANCISCO — The California federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and related entities for allegedly spurring a youth vaping epidemic on Feb. 1 selected six government entity (GE) cases including the San Francisco Unified School District and others from around the country to go to trial as bellwether cases.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a Feb. 2 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. maintains that a container for storing tobacco that features a lid and gasket for forming a non-hermetic seal “was well known in the art.”
CHICAGO — The city of Chicago on Jan. 29 filed a lawsuit accusing two Minnesota-based companies of selling flavored e-liquids to Chicago residents in violation of a recently passed city ordinance that prohibits the sales of any flavored e-liquid in Chicago, and of selling tobacco products to customers under 21 and marketing their products to youth on social media.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 27 declined to dismiss most of the claims brought by a former employee of Juul Labs Inc. who in an amended complaint claims with greater detail that the e-cigarette company violated California labor laws by restricting employees’ speech, political activities and whistleblowing activity.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Jan. 26 granted a tobacco vape-maker’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin a group of online sellers from continuing to sell counterfeit vape products with the company’s logo through a Hong Kong-based website and ordered the sellers’ financial accounts frozen.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida Supreme Court majority on Jan. 27 declined to accept jurisdiction over a smoker’s widower’s challenge to a panel’s decision to reverse and remand a $7.1 million verdict in a wrongful death action against a tobacco company after finding that the action was filed too late to state claims for fraud under Florida’s statute of repose.
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Jan. 22 vacated an impending hearing regarding motions filed by tobacco companies, trade associations and retailers to block California and San Diego County from enforcing bans on sales of flavored tobacco products and ordered the parties to submit a joint status report on a referendum petition that led to the suspension of the state’s ban.
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 19 affirmed a Florida federal court and held that a punitive damages award of more than $20 million issued by a jury to a smoker for fraud claims in an Engle progeny case which was 3.3 times greater than the compensatory damages award is constitutional.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appellate panel on Jan. 15 reversed a $15.5 million verdict in favor of a smoker’s widow because the trial court did not instruct the jury that it must find that the smoker relied to his detriment on a false statement made by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) to prove her intentional conspiracy claim.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a Jan. 13 decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board granted a petition for post-grant review (PGR) by Philip Morris Products S.A. of a patent issued in December 2019 relating to an article for smoking vaporized substances.