Mealey's Tobacco

  • November 18, 2019

    Florida Jury Adds $148M In Punitive Damages In Tobacco Case

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida jury on Nov. 15 added $148 million in punitive damages, just a week after awarding $9.2 million in compensatory damages after hearing that the plaintiff wanted to quit smoking but that his addiction was so strong he kept using tobacco even after doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer and his disease left him needing oxygen to breathe, sources told Mealey Publications (Edward Caprio v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2007-CV-036719, Fla. Cir., 17th Jud.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • November 12, 2019

    Federal Judge Remands North Carolina’s Suit Against E-Cigarette Company

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — An e-cigarette company facing charges of unfair and deceptive trade practices in a lawsuit filed by North Carolina did not present any reasonable basis for removing the case from state court, a federal judge ruled Nov. 7, remanding the case to state court and ordering the company to pay attorney fees (North Carolina v. Eonsmoke LLC, No. 19-987, M.D. N.C.).

  • November 11, 2019

    Interlocutory Appeal Denied By Delaware High Court In Tobacco Equity Fees Dispute

    WILMINGTON, Del. — The Delaware Supreme Court on Nov. 7 refused to consider an interlocutory appeal filed by a cigarette manufacturer, agreeing with a chancery court that the manufacturer’s “assertion of immediate and irreparable harm” if denied protection from a hypothetical equity fee statute in Florida “was overblown and speculative” (ITG Brands LLC v. Reynolds American Inc., et al., No. 453, 2019, Del. Sup.).

  • November 11, 2019

    Awards To New York State, City For UPS Violations Cut By 2nd Circuit

    NEW YORK — A majority of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 7 affirmed that United Parcel Service Inc. illegally shipped untaxed cigarettes from Native American smoke shops in New York but reduced the damages awarded to the state and New York City by $149 million (New York, et al. v. United Parcel Service, Inc., Nos. 17-1993, 17-2107 and 17-2111, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 33308).

  • November 08, 2019

    2nd Circuit Expands New York’s Victory Against Tribal Tobacco Company

    NEW YORK — A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 7 reversed partial summary judgment rulings for a Washington state tribal tobacco company and against New York in the state’s efforts to stop the company from shipping untaxed cigarettes to reservation smoke shops in New York (New York v. Mountain Tobacco Company, et al., Nos. 17-3198 and 17-3222, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 33306).

  • November 08, 2019

    Jury Awards Compensatory Damages Of $9.2 Million In Dual-Defendant Tobacco Case

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida jury on Nov. 7 awarded $9.2 million in compensatory damages in a tobacco case in which a man allegedly quit smoking but his addiction was so strong he kept smoking after doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer and his diseases left him needing oxygen to breathe.  Phase two of the trial is expected to start in mid-November (Edward Caprio v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2007-CV-036719, Fla. Cir., 17th Jud.).

  • November 01, 2019

    Former Juul Executive Says He Was Fired For Objecting To Contaminated Pods

    SAN FRANCISCO — A former executive for Juul Labs Inc. who alleges that the company knowingly distributed 1 million contaminated tobacco pods sued the company on Oct. 29 in a California federal court after he says he was fired for raising concerns (Siddharth Breja v. Juul Lab Inc., No. 19-7148, N.D. Calif.).

  • October 29, 2019

    FDA Opposes Vaping Group’s Preliminary Injunction Plea On Deadline Enforcement

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 11 urged a Kentucky federal court to deny a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by a vaping industry trade association and one of its members against the FDA’s enforcement of a premarket tobacco applications deadline that the group says will destroy the e-cigarette industry (Vapor Technology Association, et al. v. U.S. Food And Drug Administration, et al., No 19-0330, E.D. Ky.).

  • October 25, 2019

    Juul Maker Hit With Wrongful Death Suit By Mother Of Teenager

    SAN FRANCISCO — A mother sued Juul Labs Inc. on Oct 15 in a California federal court, alleging that the e-cigarette manufacturer is responsible for the death of her 18-year-old son (Lisa Marie Vail v. Juul Labs Inc., No. 19-6597, N.D. Calif.).

  • October 25, 2019

    Split Appeals Court Reverses Verdict In Tobacco Case For Jury Instruction Error

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appeals court on Oct. 24 reversed a $6.4 million verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a wrongful death case, finding that the trial court erred in instructing the jury on a conspiracy to commit fraudulent concealment claim (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Linda Prentice, No. 1D17-2104, Fla. App., 1st Dist.).

  • October 18, 2019

    E-Cigarette Distributor, Others Hit With Stock Drop Suit Over IPO Misstatements

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A shareholder sued a distributor of e-cigarettes, vaporizers and accessories and products containing hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) and certain of its executive officers and directors in Florida federal court on Oct. 16, alleging that the defendants failed to disclose in offering documents for an initial public offering (IPO) a major initiative in the City of San Francisco that would severely impede the company’s business and financial success in offering documents in violation of federal securities laws (Randall Mayer v. Greenlane Holdings Inc., et al., No. 19-81411, S.D. Fla.).

  • October 14, 2019

    Florida Jury Links Tobacco To Lung Cancer But Awards No Damages

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida jury on Sept. 24 returned a defense verdict for tobacco company R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. after hearing that a man enjoyed smoking and never intended to quit.  The jury found that cigarettes caused a man’s lung cancer but apportioned him 75 percent of the liability and awarded his estate no damages, sources told Mealey Publications (Robert Miller v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2008-CA-000401, Fla. 4th Cir., Duval Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • October 14, 2019

    Boston Jury Sides With Smoker, Awards $9,685,414 In Tobacco Case

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts jury on Sept. 26 awarded a woman $9,685,414 after hearing that Philip Morris designed its marketing to lure children into becoming lifelong customers, sources told Mealey Publications (Patricia Greene v. Philip Morris, No. 1581CV01808, Mass. Super., Middlesex Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • October 14, 2019

    Florida Jury Awards $1.35M In Tobacco Case Against Philip Morris

    MIAMI — A Florida jury on Sept. 24 awarded $1.35 million to a man who claimed that he began smoking as a result of tobacco company misrepresentations, sources told Mealey’s Publications (Jorge Del Real v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No 2007-CA-032909, Fla. Cir., Dade Co.).  VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • October 14, 2019

    R.J. Reynolds, Widow Debate Jury Instructions In Appeal Of New Trial Grant

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — During oral arguments Oct. 8 before a Florida appellate panel, a lawyer representing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Inc. denied that a trial lawyer committed a “gotcha” move during closing arguments of a trial that resulted in a defense verdict that was later reversed by the trial court judge, with a new trial awarded (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Phyllis Jones, No. 4D18-1132, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).

  • October 14, 2019

    School Districts Sue For Expenses; Developments In Other Vaping Cases

    Litigation over vaping and e-cigarette products continues to heat up as school districts sue e-cigarette manufactures for costs associated with their students using the products and industry groups and states battle over regulations to limit use.

  • October 11, 2019

    E-Cigarette Manufacturers Ordered To Give FTC Sales, Marketing Data

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission on Oct. 4 ordered six e-cigarette manufacturers to hand over data related to the sales and marketing practices of their products by Jan. 2.

  • October 09, 2019

    Panel Upholds Compelling State To Arbitrate With Tobacco Manufacturers

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Based on the application of state case law, a trial court did not err in compelling the state of New Mexico to arbitrate its dispute with tobacco manufacturers over nonparticipating manufacturers’ (NPM) adjustment to the tobacco master settlement agreement (MSA), a New Mexico Court of Appeals panel affirmed Sept. 25 (Hector H. Balderas v. Philip Morris, USA, Inc., et al., No. A-1-CA-36199, N.M. App., 2019 N.M. App. Unpub. LEXIS 382).

  • October 09, 2019

    Cigarette Manufacturers Lose Bid To Remove Injury Case To Federal Court

    CHICAGO — A man’s lawsuit that alleges that he contracted laryngeal cancer from smoking cigarettes is headed back to an Illinois state court after a federal judge ruled that cigarette manufacturer defendants failed to prove that the smoker fraudulently joined retailer defendants (Martin Smith v. Philip Morris Inc., et al., No. 18-06397, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169092).

  • October 08, 2019

    Florida Federal Judge: Plaintiff Lacks Standing In Trademark Row

    TAMPA, Fla. — In a blow to Sream Inc., exclusive licensee of the “RooR” trademark, a federal judge in Florida on Oct. 7 found that only a registrant or its assignee has standing to sue for infringement (RooR International B.V., et al. v. Good Timez III LLC, et al., No. 19-439, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173283).

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