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Mealey's Tobacco

  • July 16, 2019

    Federal Judge:  E-Cigarette Makers Get 10 Months To Apply To FDA For OK Of Products

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Noting the “extraordinary circumstances” of the rise in youth vaping, a federal judge in Maryland on July 11 ordered the Food and Drug Administration to enact a 10-month deadline for makers of e-cigarettes and other newly deemed tobacco products to submit applications for approval in order to keep their products on the market (American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. v. Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 8:18-CV-883, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116003).

  • July 16, 2019

    Florida Widow Says Court Did Not Err In Engle Case That Resulted In $21M Award

    LAKELAND, Fla. — A smoker’s widow says in a May 31 answer brief that a Florida appellate court should affirm a trial court’s judgment “in all respects” in an Engle progeny case in which she was awarded $21 million, saying the tobacco company’s allegations of error by the trial court in its jury instructions and rulings on submission of evidence are insufficient (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. Faye Theis, No. 2D18-3348, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2019 FL App. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 919).

  • July 16, 2019

    Florida Appellate Panel Closes Engle-Progeny Case In Which It Upheld Punitive Award

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The First District Court of Appeal on July 8 issued a mandate closing a case in which it denied Philip Morris USA Inc.’s bid to reduce punitive damages imposed against it in an Engle progeny case and denied the company’s subsequent motion for certification of a question of great public importance (Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Veda Bryant, et al., No. 1D18-1053, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10681).

  • July 16, 2019

    Trade Group: Rules Would Make FDA ‘Most Prominent’ Voice On Cigar Boxes, Ads

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — New Food and Drug Administration “warnings would make the Government the most prominent speaker on every cigar and pipe tobacco box and advertisement in the country,” the Cigar Association of America contends in a July 1 final reply brief to the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in support of its appeal seeking reversal of a federal court judgment and permanent relief from the warnings (Cigar Association of America, et al. v. Food & Drug Administration, et al., No. 18-5195, D.C. Cir.).

  • July 16, 2019

    Florida Panel Affirms Denial Of New Trial In E-Cigarette Case With $2M Award

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appellate panel on July 9 said a trial court did not abuse its  discretion in denying a battery seller’s motion for new trial or remittitur in a case where a jury awarded more than $2 million to a man after an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth and he lost several teeth (R-L Sales, LLC v. J. Michael Hoce, No. 1D18-2298, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10701).

  • July 16, 2019

    Florida High Court: No Review In Case That Saw $21M Verdict Against R.J. Reynolds

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on July 11 denied R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s petition seeking review of a Florida intermediate appellate court divided opinion that affirmed a final judgment of $21 million in compensatory damages against the tobacco company in an Engle progeny case (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Diane Schleider, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Andrew Schleider, No. 19-445, Fla. Sup., 2019 Fla. LEXIS 1216).

  • July 16, 2019

    Panel Denies Tobacco Companies’ Petition Seeking Dismissal Of Engle Progeny Case

    MIAMI — A Florida appellate panel on July 3 denied two tobacco companies’ petition for a writ of certiorari to quash an order that denied their motion to dismiss an Engle progeny case because a widow did not obtain counsel by court-ordered deadlines and because her husband’s estate did not move for a substitute plaintiff for him within the required time (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. Ray Lacey, No. 3D19-578, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10596).

  • July 16, 2019

    Kansas Supreme Court Reverses Ruling That Quashed City’s Tobacco Age Restrictions

    TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Supreme Court on June 28 reversed a lower court ruling that struck down a Topeka ordinance that raised the minimum age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21, saying the local legislation is constitutional under the city’s home rule power and does not conflict with state law (DWAGFYS Manufacturing, Inc. v. Topeka, Kansas, No. 119,269, Kan. Sup., 2019 Kan. LEXIS 111).

  • July 16, 2019

    5th Circuit: Unfair Trade Practice Claims Against R.J. Reynolds Are Time-Barred

    NEW ORLEANS — The continuing tort doctrine did not apply to unfair trade practice and tortious interference with business claims brought by a wholesale distributor in Louisiana against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. related to the tobacco company’s rebate payment system, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 10 in an unpublished opinion (Caldwell Wholesale Co. LLC v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 18-30707, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20764).

  • July 15, 2019

    FDA: Court-Ordered Enforcement Sought By Health Advocates Intrudes On Agency Powers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration says in a June 12 brief that a proposal by public health organizations that it be required to take enforcement action against manufacturers of newly deemed tobacco products that are marketed without authorization would “raise significant separation of powers concerns,” opposing the relief proposed by the organizations in response to a Maryland federal judge’s order (American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. v. Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 8:18-CV-883, D. Md.).

  • July 11, 2019

    R.J. Reynolds Accused Of Patent Infringement In North Carolina

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — In a July 2 complaint, a plaintiff asserts that R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. copied its patented design for an e-cigarette after failed negotiations between the parties (Fuma International LLC v. R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., No. 19-660, M.D. N.C.).

  • July 11, 2019

    Florida Panel: Trial Court Erred In Not Directing Verdict Against R.J. Reynolds

    LAKELAND, Fla. — The Second District Florida Court of Appeal on June 26 reversed a judgment that had cleared defendant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in an Engle progeny lawsuit and remanded the case for a new trial, saying the trial court erred in not directing a verdict in favor of the plaintiff on the tobacco company’s statute of limitations defense (Angela Sue Durrance v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2D17-2009, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10026).

  • July 11, 2019

    Florida Court Denies Rehearing; R.J. Reynolds May Face Trial For Punitive Damages

    MIAMI — A Florida intermediate appellate court on June 5 denied R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s motion for certification to the state Supreme Court or rehearing or rehearing en banc of its holding that reversed a directed verdict in an Engle progeny case and remanded for a new trial solely on the amount of punitive damages (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Mirtha Ledo, No. 3D17-2328. Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 9873).

  • July 11, 2019

    Florida Panel Reverses Order That Obliged R.J. Reynolds To Pay $4M In Attorney Fees

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appellate panel on June 14 reversed a trial court’s order that required R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to pay the attorney fees, amounting to nearly $4 million including interest, of the widower of a smoker in an Engle progeny case, saying the inclusion of costs related to nontestifying witnesses to determine the legal threshold to trigger payment was in error (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. James Lewis, Nos. 5D17-773, 5D18-3654, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 9314).

  • July 11, 2019

    R.J. Reynolds Opposes Review Of Engle Holding That Barred Surgeon General Reports

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. contends in a June 4 answer brief on jurisdiction that an appellate court’s ruling does not conflict with decisions by the Florida Supreme Court and that the high court should not review the intermediate appellate court’s finding that U.S. surgeon general reports on smoking were inadmissible as hearsay in reversing a $46.5 million award against the company in an Engle progeny case (Bettye Ryan, etc. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. SC18-37, Fla. Sup.).

  • July 11, 2019

    11th Circuit Denies Rehearing In Row Among Tobacco Manufacturers In Southeast

    ATLANTA — A Florida tobacco manufacturer’s petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc of an appeal of a federal court’s dismissal — on the grounds that it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted — of its claims against competitors for unjust enrichment and unfair competition was denied by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 21 (Vibo Corp., Inc. v. U.S. Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers, Inc., et al., No. 18-12499, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18768).

  • July 3, 2019

    Florida Jury Awards $10.6M In Engle Case Against R.J. Reynolds

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida jury awarded the children of a longtime smoker who died from lung cancer $6 million in compensatory damages and $4.6 million in punitive damages on July 1 and 2, respectively, in an Engle progeny case against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Robert Hamilton v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2008-CA-019632 [13], Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.). VIDEO OF THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 26, 2019

    Jury Clears R.J. Reynolds Of Liability In Lung Cancer Death Of Florida Smoker

    PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida jury on June 24 cleared R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. of liability in the death of a longtime smoker in the retrial of a case that had seen an award of more than $33 million in compensatory and punitive damages (Cynthia Robinson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CA-000098, Fla. 1st Jud. Cir., Escambia Co.).  VIDEO OF THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 17, 2019

    FDA Defense Of Warning Labels, Ads Is Unconstitutional, Premium Cigar Merchants Say

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government, “[w]hen forced to defend its warnings mandate on premium cigars . . . has to bend the First Amendment beyond recognition,” tobacco makers and retailers contend in a June 4 brief in federal court in the District of Columbia in further support of their motion for summary judgment and permanent junction and opposition to the Food and Drug Administration’s cross-motion for summary judgment (En Fuego Tobacco Shop LLC, et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 18-1797, D. D.C.).

  • June 17, 2019

    R.J. Reynolds Argues $16M Punitive Damages Award By Florida Jury Is Excessive

    ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida court should enter a directed verdict because evidence did not support the jury’s strict liability design-defect finding in a trial that resulted in $300,000 in survivorship damages and $16 million in punitive damages being awarded to the family of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. says in a May 8 reply brief in support of its renewed motion for directed verdict or, alternatively, for a new trial or remittitur (Brinda Coates v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 1997-CA-004541-O, Fla. 9th Jud. Cir., Orange Co.).