Mealey's Tobacco

  • October 12, 2021

    Smoker’s Widow Claims Tobacco Companies Hid Data At Punitive Damages Trial

    MIAMI — Jurors in a Florida state court on Oct. 8 heard opening statements in the punitive damages-only phase of an Engle wrongful death action against a tobacco company for defectively designing and deceptively marketing cigarettes that caused the addiction and laryngeal cancer of a Cuban immigrant who died in 1996. VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • October 12, 2021

    New York Cayugas Sue Oklahoma Cayugas Over Operation Of Smoke Shop

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York Indian tribe that sells its own brand of cigarettes filed a federal court lawsuit on Oct. 7 against an Indian tribe in Oklahoma with a similar name seeking to stop it from operating a competing smoke shop on the New York tribe’s reservation.

  • October 11, 2021

    Insurer Not Liable For Vaping Injury Before Retroactive Date, Judge Rules

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Oct. 6 ruled that an insurer is not liable for damages from a lawsuit in which a vaping cartridge manufacturer was sued by a couple due to the wife’s six-week hospitalization for injuries suffered after using a flavored vape, finding that the insurance policy was only retroactive to a date after the personal injury suit was filed.

  • October 11, 2021

    Juul MDL Defendants Move To Dismiss Tribal Bellwether Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — The defendants in the multidistrict litigation in California federal court against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and related entities on Oct. 8 separately filed motions to dismiss two bellwether tribal complaints in which Native American tribes allege that they were specifically targeted by JLI’s deceptive marketing about switching to e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to cigarettes.

  • October 06, 2021

    Juul Sues New York Tobacco Distributor For Illegal Gray-Market Sales

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) on Sept. 28 filed a complaint in a New York federal court alleging that a New York tobacco distributor is selling counterfeit and gray-market Juul products in violation of federal trademark infringement law.

  • October 05, 2021

    Minnesota Vape Shop Sues City To Stop Ordinance Banning Flavored Vapes

    SHAKOPEE, Minn. — The only licensed 21-and-over tobacco shop in the city of Prior Lake, Minn., on Sept. 30 filed an amended complaint in a state court against the city seeking to block a new ordinance which prohibits sales of flavored vaping products in the city and which was issued four months after the shop received its tobacco license.

  • October 04, 2021

    Juul, Ex-Employee Ask Court To Approve $2.22M Settlement Of Secrecy Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two former employees of e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. on Sept. 30 filed an unopposed motion in a California federal court to approve a proposed settlement resolving claims that Juul violated California law and the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) by requiring employees to sign illegal nondisclosure and severance agreements that allegedly barred them from reporting illegal conduct to authorities.

  • October 01, 2021

    E-Cig Manufacturer Seeks Review Of FDA Marketing Denial

    ATLANTA — An e-cigarette company on Sept. 29 petitioned the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel for review of the Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision denying it the right to market its products in the United States, which it claims was “arbitrary” and “capricious.”

  • September 30, 2021

    Native American Tobacco Company Sues Former Counsel For Conflicts Of Interest

    SPOKANE, Wash. — A Native American-owned tobacco company filed a complaint in Washington federal court on Sept. 28 claiming damages of more than $3.5 million from its former legal counsel for allegedly negotiating behind its back and against its interest with two of its corporate officers to create a new tobacco company.

  • September 24, 2021

    Tobacco Company Says Reversal Of Hearsay-Based $10.6M Verdict Was Proper

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A tobacco company in a Sept. 22 answer brief says the Florida Supreme Court need not review the reversal of a $10.6 million judgment in favor of a smoker’s son, writing that an appellate panel correctly found that the trial court erred by allowing the plaintiff to rely on “backward-looking hearsay” testimony to support his fraud claims.

  • September 23, 2021

    Panel Reverses $10.5M Verdict For Smoker As Time-Barred

    MIAMI — A Florida appellate panel on Sept. 22 reversed a $10.5 million verdict in favor of a former Marine and cigarette smoker who sued a tobacco company for damages related to his laryngeal cancer, ruling that his claims are barred by Florida’s statute of repose for fraud.

  • September 17, 2021

    Tobacco Trial Recesses After Judge Tests Positive For COVID-19

    BARNSTABLE, Mass. — A bench trial against a tobacco company brought by the widow of a former smoker who died from lung cancer after 40 years of smoking was put on hold Sept. 14 after the judge hearing the case and plaintiff’s attorney tested positive for COVID-19.  VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • September 15, 2021

    Mass. High Court Says Tobacco Settlement Doesn’t Preclude Punitives For Widow

    BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Sept. 15 affirmed a jury award of $21 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a smoker’s widow, ruling that the state’s entry into a 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) did not preclude punitive damages because the state’s attorney general in entering the MSA did not represent the widow’s statutory interest in her wrongful death action.

  • September 13, 2021

    Panel Declines To Disqualify Judge From Engle Case For Past Tobacco Litigation

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appellate panel on Aug. 20 denied a petition for a writ of prohibition seeking to disqualify a trial judge hearing an Engle case who a tobacco company said would not be fair based on his past representation of Engle plaintiffs, writing that the tobacco company failed to identify the “precise date” it discovered the facts creating the grounds for its petition.

  • September 13, 2021

    Juul, Altria Tell FTC E-Cig Competition Grew After They Joined Forces

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tobacco manufacturer Altria Group Inc. and e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. argue in an Aug. 24 post-trial brief to an administrative law judge that the Federal Trade Commission at a recent trial failed to prove that Altria's allegedly anti-competitive $12.8 billion acquisition of a 35% stake in Juul was a “secret conspiracy” and claim that competition in the e-cigarette market increased after the investment.

  • September 10, 2021

    FDA Denies PMTAs For 946K Flavored E-Cigarettes, Delays Decision On Juul Products

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration announced Sept. 9 that it has denied premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) for more than 946,000 flavored e-cigarette products, and said it needs more time to complete its review of other companies’ PMTA including industry giant Juul Labs Inc. (JLI).

  • September 09, 2021

    Judge: Alleged Counterfeiters Liable For Juul’s Trademark, UCL Claims

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Aug. 30 granted summary judgment in favor of Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) on its claims for violation of federal trademark statutes and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) against a Chinese national and his companies in relation to the sales of counterfeit Juul products but said material facts remain in dispute regarding damages.

  • September 08, 2021

    Judge Says Michigan Can’t Enforce Use Tax Against Tribe, Allows Tobacco Taxes

    MARQUETTE, Mich. — A Michigan federal judge on Aug. 26 enjoined Michigan from enforcing its use tax against an Indian tribe and its members for goods or services that are used both on- and off-reservation because it unconstitutionally does not apportion tax based on where the goods are used, as the judge found in a July 13 ruling that separately granted summary judgment in favor of the state on the tribe’s tobacco tax and other claims.

  • September 07, 2021

    Florida Jury Awards $43M To Family Of Deceased Smoker In Engle Trial

    MIAMI — A Florida jury on Sept. 3 awarded $43 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the widower and three children of a woman who smoked for 40 years and died from lung cancer in her 50s in one of the first in-person Engle trials since COVID-19 courthouse restrictions were lifted. VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • September 02, 2021

    Judge Appoints Lead Plaintiffs, Counsel In Action Against Chinese Vaping Company

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Sept. 1 signed a stipulation and order appointing lead plaintiffs and lead counsel in a putative securities class action against a Chinese vaping company that is alleged to have misrepresented its financial prospects before its initial public offering (IPO) after granting motions for appointment of lead plaintiffs and counsel in an Aug. 31 order.