Mealey's Tobacco

  • September 22, 2023

    Judge Certifies Classes Of Smokers Deceived By American Spirits ‘Natural’ Claims

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge published the redacted version of his opinion granting in part a motion to certify a class of smokers accusing three tobacco companies of mislabeling American Spirit-brand cigarettes as “natural” and “additive-free,” shortly after three tobacco companies petitioned the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for permission to challenge the certification order, which was previously issued to the parties under seal.

  • September 20, 2023

    Judge Dismisses Ethanol Seller’s Suit Against Juul For Discriminatory Kit Sales

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge granted a motion filed by Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) and one of its wholesalers to dismiss claims brought against them by a company that sells ethanol fuel blends and contends that JLI violated antitrust law by canceling plans to sell JLI e-cigarette products in a kit that included its ethanol fuel.

  • September 20, 2023

    Juul MDL Judge Approves $255M Settlement, Rejects All ClaimClam Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) on Sept. 19 issued a final approval of a $255 million class settlement resolving economic loss claims brought against JLI on behalf of roughly 6.3 million class members and approved the rejection of “tens of thousands” of purported class members who filed claims through a third-party website while granting those individuals an extension to file timely claims.

  • September 19, 2023

    Supreme Court Distributes Tobacco Companies’ Challenge To California Flavor Ban

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court distributed for conference a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by tobacco companies and a retailers’ association that are challenging California’s voter-backed ban of flavored tobacco products after California officials waived their right to respond.

  • September 18, 2023

    Government Urges High Court To Uphold ‘Bedrock Principle’ Of Chevron Deference

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. secretary of Commerce, two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the government) urge the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 15 brief to not overrule the doctrine of Chevron deference in a challenge to fishery regulations that were upheld by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, writing that doing so could “cause disruption” to complex federal regulatory schemes.

  • September 15, 2023

    Panel Confirms Patentability Of E-Cigarette Technology In Blow To Philip Morris

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 15 that substantial evidence supports a final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that rejected Philip Morris Products S.A.’s assertions that a patented e-cigarette would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (POSITA).

  • September 15, 2023

    9th Circuit Won’t Rehear Flavored Vape Company’s Challenge To FDA Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 14 denied a combined petition for panel or en banc rehearing of a flavored vape company’s challenge to the Food and Drug Administration’s ban of its products, which a panel previously rejected after finding that the FDA properly informed the company of its standards before banning their products.

  • September 14, 2023

    Judge Dismisses $100M Suit Against Tobacco Company For Causing Man’s Addiction

    FLORENCE, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge dismissed with prejudice a pro se plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit demanding $100 million from a tobacco company after adopting in full a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation and finding the plaintiff’s suit deficient, in part because his claim that he was unaware of the health risks of smoking until June 2020 is “implausible.”

  • September 13, 2023

    Philip Morris Appeals Order Applying Old Warnings To New Products To D.C. Circuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM) on Sept. 12 filed notice in a District of Columbia federal court that it is appealing to the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a ruling that its new “HeatSticks” tobacco products are bound by the same “corrective statements” remedy imposed on tobacco companies in 2006 after they were found liable for a racketeering scheme to conceal the health risks of cigarettes.

  • September 12, 2023

    Altria, United States Ask To Stay Taxation Suit Pending High Court Ruling

    RICHMOND, Va. — Tobacco company Altria Group Inc. on Sept. 11 filed an unopposed motion to stay its action against the United States seeking a refund of roughly $106 million in income taxes that Altria says the U.S. Internal Revenue Service “erroneously collected” based on taxation of Altria’s foreign holdings, writing that the case should be stayed pending a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a related constitutional question.

  • September 11, 2023

    E-Cig Buyers File Amended Antitrust Complaint Against Juul And Altria

    SAN FRANCISCO — Purchasers of Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) e-cigarette and vaping products filed an amended antitrust class complaint in California federal court accusing JLI and Altria Group Inc. of artificially increasing prices based on anti-competitive conduct after a stay on the litigation was lifted following the Federal Trade Commission’s withdrawal of its antitrust complaint against the two companies.

  • September 11, 2023

    Esco Bar E-Cigarette Maker Accuses FDA Of Wrongfully Banning Its Products

    AUSTIN, Texas — The manufacturer of Esco Bar-brand disposable, synthetic nicotine e-cigarettes filed a complaint in Texas federal court accusing the Food and Drug Administration of improperly refusing to accept its premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs), writing that “FDA ignored relevant evidence, never articulated any lawful grounds for denying the PMTAs, and violated . . . its own regulations and guidance.”

  • September 08, 2023

    Juul MDL Judge Gives Preliminary OK To $45M Settlement Against Altria

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California federal judge overseeing multidistrict e-cigarette litigation on Sept. 7 granted the lead plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary approval of a settlement resolving all remaining claims in the MDL for more than $45 million against Altria Group Inc. and its subsidiaries for the economic losses of class members who purchased Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) e-cigarettes.

  • September 06, 2023

    Smoker’s Daughter Says Court Reversibly Erred By Not Summoning Jurors Over 70

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A deceased smoker’s daughter writes in an appellant brief to the First District Florida Court of Appeal that it should reverse a defense verdict rejecting her wrongful death Engle lawsuit against two tobacco companies based on the trial court not summoning any potential jurors over age 70.

  • August 30, 2023

    2nd Circuit Won’t Rehear Flavored Pod Maker’s Challenge To FDA Ban

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a flavored e-cigarette pod manufacturer’s petition for panel or en banc rehearing of its petition for review of the Food and Drug Administration’s marketing denial order (MDO) banning sales of the manufacturer’s products.

  • August 30, 2023

    D.C. Circuit Vacates FDA Ban Of Blu Unflavored Vapes, Upholds Ban Of Flavors

    SAN FRANCISCO — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 29 granted in part the manufacturer of “blu” vapes’ petition for review of a Food and Drug Administration ban of its products, vacating the ban of the manufacturer’s unflavored products as “arbitrary” but upholding the ban of flavored products while separately denying a second petition the company filed as untimely.

  • August 29, 2023

    Petitioner Defends Challenge To Synthetic Nicotine Patent, Seeks PTO Director Review

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In an Aug. 28 request for rehearing by the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of a denial one month earlier by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of inter partes review (IPR) of a synthetic nicotine patent, a petitioner says the board should have applied an “obvious to try” standard in its assessment of a motivation to combine various prior art.

  • August 28, 2023

    Oral Arguments Pending In Mass. High Court Review Of Smoker’s Widow’s Loss

    BOSTON — A smoker’s widow on Aug 28 moved to reschedule pending oral arguments before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court just weeks after the court sua sponte transferred her appeal and all pending briefs to the court to address whether the widow was denied the right to a fair trial by the trial court’s imposition of time limits on the parties’ presentation of evidence.

  • August 24, 2023

    Iowa Announces $171M Settlement With Tobacco Companies In MSA Dispute

    DES MOINES, Iowa — The office of Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird announced that it has reached a $171 million settlement of a lawsuit the state filed in Iowa court contending that tobacco companies withheld more than $133 million in “bad faith” over the past 18 years by raising “deceptive” objections to the state’s compliance with the terms of a 1998 master settlement agreement (MSA) between the companies and the state.

  • August 23, 2023

    San Diego Sues Retailers For Violating State Ban On Flavored Tobacco Sales

    SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Attorney’s Office on Aug. 22 filed a complaint accusing two businesses that collectively operate nine stores in San Diego of repeatedly violating California and San Diego’s bans of flavored tobacco sales and seeking civil penalties under California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • August 23, 2023

    Flavored Vape Company Urges 9th Circuit To Reconsider FDA’s ‘Arbitrary’ Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — A manufacturer of flavored e-liquids for use with vaping devices filed a petition in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking panel or en banc rehearing of a panel’s denial of its bid for review of a Food and Drug Administration ban of its products, writing that the Ninth Circuit “overlooked” the fact that the FDA improperly adopted a rule banning flavored products while its application was pending.

  • August 21, 2023

    6th Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Exploding Vape Suit Against Korean Battery Maker

    CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel reversed a Michigan federal judge’s dismissal for lack of a personal jurisdiction of a lawsuit against a foreign battery maker brought by a man who was burned by an exploding e-cigarette, finding that the plaintiff’s evidence established sufficient contacts between the battery maker and Michigan.

  • August 11, 2023

    Judge Vacates FDA Rule Regulating Manufacture Of Premium Cigars

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge vacated the Food and Drug Administration’s rule regulating premium cigars, granting the remedy sought by cigar industry associations and opposed by the FDA since the judge held one year ago that the FDA’s premium cigar rule was “arbitrary and capricious” and issued without consideration of “pertinent evidence.”

  • August 10, 2023

    Judge Dismisses Juul Exec’s Wrongful Firing Suit After Arbitrator Rejects Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Aug. 9 dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit brought by a former executive who accused e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) of wrongful termination and violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) after he complained that up to 1 million of its mint-flavored nicotine pods may be contaminated, citing the rejection of his claims by an arbitrator.

  • August 07, 2023

    United States Denies Altria’s Claim For $106M In Allegedly Overpaid Taxes

    RICHMOND, Va. — The United States filed its answer and affirmative defenses in Virginia federal court where tobacco company Altria Group Inc. is suing it for roughly $106 million in overpaid income taxes that Altria says the U.S. Internal Revenue Service “erroneously collected” based on taxation of Altria’s foreign holdings, asserting that the court lacks jurisdiction over the claims and that its review of Altria’s taxes is ongoing.