Mealey's Tobacco

  • June 07, 2021

    Juul And Pod Company Settle Trademark, Libel Suits Against Each Other

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge in a two-page May 28 order said e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and an e-cigarette pod manufacturer may file a joint motion to permanently seal confidential materials in the record after they settled JLI’s trademark claims against the manufacturer; separately, the manufacturer on May 12 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of its claims against JLI for fraudulent misrepresentation and trade libel in a California federal court.

  • June 03, 2021

    Government Agencies Say High Court Should Not Review Vaping Rule’s Ratification

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and their respective leaders urge the U.S. Supreme Court in a June 2 opposition brief not to grant a petition for certiorari brought by a group of vaping businesses, arguing that their challenge to the ratification of vaping regulations issued by an unconfirmed assistant commissioner does not conflict with any court ruling or involve a serious constitutional question.

  • June 03, 2021

    Health Groups Still Seek Court Action On Menthol Despite FDA’s Ban Announcement

    SAN FRANCISCO — Health groups seeking to compel government agencies to ban menthol filed a May 21 supplement to their second amended complaint in a California federal court, arguing that the Food and Drug Administration’s recent announcement of plans to pursue a ban of all menthol flavored tobacco products is insufficient and that judicial action is still needed to ensure that the agencies begin rule-making to ban menthol.

  • June 02, 2021

    Florida Supreme Court Hears Parties Debate Validity Of Engle’s Res Judicata Effect

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court during oral argument on June 2 questioned attorneys representing the estate of a deceased smoker whose $6.4 million compensatory damages award was reversed on appeal and a tobacco company about whether the trial court’s jury instructions regarding standards for detrimental reliance on tobacco company statements on Engle fraud claims were proper or if the court should reconsider Engle.

  • June 02, 2021

    Smoker Was Unable To Quit Even After COPD Diagnosis, Widow Tells Jury

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Counsel for the widow of a deceased smoker told a Florida jury during May 24 opening statements in her wrongful death trial against a tobacco company that her husband became addicted to cigarettes before the health risks of smoking were widely known but was too addicted to quit after falling ill. VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 02, 2021

    Florida Jury Awards Smoker With COPD Nearly $3M For Pain, Medical Costs

    QUINCY, Fla. — A Florida jury on May 24 awarded a smoker who suffers from emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) nearly $3 million after trial and found the defendant tobacco company 100% at fault for the smoker’s defective product and negligence claims.  VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 01, 2021

    Tobacco Companies Resolve Texas Settlement Dispute Over Liability For Sold Brands

    TEXARKANA, Texas — The state of Texas and three tobacco companies on May 26 filed a notice of settlement in a Texas federal court resolving a dispute over liabilities to the state under its 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry, under which a new company will become a party to the settlement going forward and the companies collectively will pay Texas more than $200 million to resolve settlement liabilities dating back to 2015.

  • May 27, 2021

    Engle Plaintiff’s Attorney Says He Didn’t ‘Flout’ Rules In Closing Arguments

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Counsel for an Engle progeny plaintiff who was awarded $10 million for her mother’s death told a Florida appellate court at oral arguments on May 25 that he did not “flout” the court’s standards in his closing arguments that two tobacco companies argue on appeal were improper and said his arguments were appropriate under the court’s precedents at the time they were delivered.

  • May 26, 2021

    Tobacco Company: Florida High Court Need Not Review Reversal Of $16M In Punitives

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A tobacco company tells the Florida Supreme Court in a May 21 brief that it should not review an appellate court’s reversal of a $16 million punitive damages award to a deceased smoker’s sister that was deemed excessive in comparison to the jury’s $300,000 compensatory damages award even though the panel certified the case as presenting a question of great public importance because the company says the award is prohibited by state and federal law.

  • May 19, 2021

    Health Groups Want Menthol Suit To Continue Despite FDA’s Planned Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — Health groups who filed a lawsuit seeking to compel government agencies to ban menthol write in a May 18 joint case management statement that the action is not moot despite the Food and Drug Administration’s recent announcement that it intends to pursue a ban of all menthol flavor tobacco products, while the government says the case should be dismissed.

  • May 13, 2021

    8th Circuit Asks If States ‘Cannot Prohibit Anything’ In Tobacco Flavor Ban Appeal

    ST. LOUIS — An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 12 hearing a group of tobacco manufacturers and retailers’ challenge to a Minnesota city’s ordinance banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products questioned whether the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA) preempts municipalities from enacting such ordinances to the extent that states “cannot prohibit anything.”

  • May 12, 2021

    LA Tells 9th Circuit FDA’s Planned Menthol Ban Proves Local Ban Not Preempted

    SAN FRANCISCO — Los Angeles County and its board of supervisor in a May 7 brief urge the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a district court’s ruling that the county’s ban on flavored tobacco products is not preempted by federal law and does not obstruct federal regulatory goals as it says is shown by the Food and Drug Administration’s recent announcement of plans to ban menthol flavored tobacco products and all flavored cigars.

  • May 10, 2021

    Case Update Due In Suit To Ban Menthol After FDA Announces Shift

    SAN FRANCISCO — Health groups that filed a lawsuit seeking to compel government agencies to ban menthol are due by May 18 to submit a joint case management update with counsel for the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and their respective leaders regarding the litigation, just weeks after the FDA announced that it now agrees with the plaintiffs and intends to pursue a ban of all menthol flavor tobacco products, as well as all flavored cigars.

  • May 10, 2021

    RJR Tells Fla. Supreme Court No Conflict Created By Denial Of Punitives For Widow

    MIAMI — R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) argues in a May 6 answer brief on jurisdiction to the Florida Supreme Court that the court should not hear a smoker’s widow’s appeal of an appellate panel’s affirmance of a directed verdict which RJR says did not create conflict and was proper in light of the trial court’s jury instructions regarding the burden of proof for punitive damages that the widow failed to satisfy.

  • May 07, 2021

    D.C. Circuit Panel Questions ‘Ambiguity’ Of Cigar And Pipe Tobacco Regulations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel during oral arguments on May 7 questioned whether provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA) that require all tobacco manufacturers to pay fees to fund regulatory activities but exempt e-cigarette manufacturers are ambiguous.

  • May 06, 2021

    Tobacco Company-Funded Nonprofit Moves To Dismiss Ex-Employee’s Retaliation Suit

    NEW YORK — A nonprofit foundation funded by a tobacco company on May 5 moved in a New York federal court for dismissal of a former employee’s claims that she was retaliated against and terminated for making protected whistleblower complaints to superiors regarding her belief that the foundation’s strategies were promoting teen e-cigarette use and that the nonprofit was abusing its tax-exempt status by engaging in such activities.

  • May 05, 2021

    Mass. High Court Asks If State’s Tobacco Settlement Precludes Punitives For Widow

    BOSTON — Counsel for a tobacco company told the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court at oral argument on May 3 that under res judicata, a smoker’s widow awarded $21 million in a wrongful death action should have been barred from seeking punitive damages for her breach of warranty claim because a similar claim brought on behalf of Massachusetts residents was resolved by a 1998 Master Settlement Agreement that the state’s attorney general entered into with tobacco companies.

  • April 29, 2021

    Congress’ Delegation Of E-Cigarette Regulation Was Proper, High Court Told

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services and their respective secretaries urge the U.S. Supreme Court in an April 28 brief to deny a petition challenging the agencies’ deeming of e-cigarettes as regulated tobacco products, arguing that Congress did not violate the nondelegation doctrine by authorizing the HHS secretary and FDA to deem tobacco products because the underlying legislation contains “intelligible principles” guiding any such action.

  • April 28, 2021

    Judge Enjoins Philadelphia From Restricting Vape Sales To Adults-Only Stores

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania judge on April 6 enjoined the city of Philadelphia from enforcing a new ordinance that prohibits the sales of flavored vapes and restricts the sales of any e-cigarettes to adults-only establishments after finding the ordinance preempted by state law.

  • April 20, 2021

    Judge Fines Vape Company $1.2M And Enjoins It From Further Youth Marketing

    LOS ANGELES — A California Superior Court judge on April 16 ordered that a vape company pay $1.2 million in civil penalties for violating California tobacco laws and marketing its products to youth, writing that the penalty was appropriate because the company had violated the court’s earlier preliminary injunction and continued marketing tobacco products in ways that could be accessible to youth under the age of 21.

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