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a division of the Public Health Advocacy Institute


Notice:  This site is no longer current.  It remains published to serve as an archive and a resource.  Current news and posts for the Tobacco Products Liability Project at Northeastern University School of Law may be found on our primary website, here.

4-28-10 - Louisiana Court of Appeals Orders Tobacco Companies to Pay Over $230 Million for Court-Approved Smoking Cessation Program. See our Press Release.

4-26-10 - Florida Jury Returns Multi-Million Dollar Verdict for Family of Smoker against Liggett Group, Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds.  See our Press Release.

4-22-10 - Tobacco Companies Are Dealt a Series of Major Litigation Losses in Florida During March And April – and There’s no End in Sight. See our Press Release.

2-19-10 - All Parties Seek Supreme Court Review of Racketeering Trial:  US v. Philip Morris. See our Press Release.

11-19-09 - Jury Hits Philip Morris with $300 Million Verdict in Individual Trial in Florida - 8th Verdict for Florida Plaintiffs this Year.  See our Press Release

10-19-09 - Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Allows Medical Monitoring in Class Action Suit Against Philip Morris. See Opinion and News Item. See our Press Release.

10-15-09 - Appeals Court Upholds California Jury’s Multi-Million Dollar Verdict against R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris.  See our press release.

9-23-09 - Plaintiffs have won verdicts in 7 of 9 post-Engle individual trials so far.  See our litigation update.

5-22-09 - Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today affirmed that the cigarette companies are liable for violating federal racketeering laws.  See the latest from Bloomberg and Reuters.

5-21-09 - California Supreme Court Ruling Continues Trend Favoring Rights of Consumers to Sue Tobacco Companies.  Please see our Press Release.

3-31-09 - U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Philip Morris Appeal and Clears the Way for High Punitive Damages Against Cigarette Companies.  See our Press Release.

3-9-09 - Tobacco Industry is 0 for 2 in Post-Engle trials in Florida.  See our Press Release.

2-2-09 - TPLP Publishes Annotated Expert Testimony from Tobacco Litigation as Thousands of Individual Cases Move Toward Trial.

12-15-08 - The U.S. Supreme Court Narrowly Permitted "Light" Cigarette Litigation to move forward in a Blow to Cigarette Companies.  See our Press Release and the Decision (pdf).

12-3-2008 - Senior Attorney Edward Sweda notes an important misrepresentation in Philip Morris' brief for the U.S. Supreme Court in Philip Morris v. Williams, which will be argued today.  See our Press Release.

10-3-2008 - U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments on Monday on tobacco company’s attempt to evade accountability for its “light” cigarette scam.  See our Press Release.

6-09-2008 - The U.S. Supreme Court has denied review of the extraordinary ratio of punitive to compensatory damages in Williams, essentially giving tobacco litigators the green light to seek record punitive damages against cigarette companies.  However, review was granted in the Williams case on another issue unrelated to the key issue of the damages ratio.  See our Press Release.

1-31-08 - The Oregon Supreme Court unanimously reinstated the $79.5 million punitive damages verdict in the Williams caseThis will likely expose the tobacco industry to potentially crippling punitive damages in the thousands of lawsuits it faces. See our Commentary and Backgrounder.

12-4-07 - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reinstated a lawsuit filed on behalf of smokers who were deceived by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s light cigarette scam. See our Press Release.

9-4-07 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Deals Important Blow to Cigarette Industry's Preemption Defense in "Light" Litigation.  See our Press Release and the Opinion.

6-11-07 - U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Repudiates Philip Morris in "Light" Cigarette Case.  See our Press Release.


Previous Items:

5-9-07 - Punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds was assessed at $250,000, which is quite small considering that the conduct at issue led to the death of Leslie Whiteley at age 40.  See story in The Recorder.

5-2-07 - A California Jury has found Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds liable for the wrongful death of Leslie Whiteley from lung cancer at the age of 40.  Compensatory damages of $2.4 million have been awarded to the Whiteley family and punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds, but not Philip Morris, will be determined next week. See our Backgrounder and Commentary. See story in The Recorder. See the jury's Verdict Sheet.

4-23-07 - U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments  on Wednesday in Consumer Protection Lawsuit Brought on Behalf of Victims of Philip Morris’ “Light” Cigarette Scam.  See our press release.

2-20-07 - U.S Supreme Court Strikes Punitive Damages Award in Williams over Jury Instruction and Sends Case Back to the Oregon Supreme Court for Further Proceedings. The 5-4 Decision does not Address Whether the Award was Excessive and Should Offer Cigarette Companies Little Comfort. See our  Backgrounder and Commentary.

2-15-07 - California Supreme Court Removes Hurdle and Restarts Tobacco Litigation in California. See our press release.

2-7-07 - Massachusetts Case Against Lorillard for Newport Giveaways Targeting Young Black Women in Roxbury Clears Hurdle and is Bound for Trial.  See Ruling on Motion to Dismiss in Evans v. Lorillard (5mb pdf).

1-16-07 - Big Tobacco’s Legal Stunt in Florida Just Smoke and Mirrors:  Attempt to Circumvent Florida Supreme Court is Sign of Desperation.  See our Press Release.

1-12-07 - TPLP will Host a Plaintiff Attorneys' Conference in Miami on February 8-9 focusing on the individual cases following the Florida Supreme Court's verdict in Engle v. Liggett. See the agenda (pdf)

11-28-06 - Major Study of Tobacco Industry Trial Transcripts and Depositions Reveals Tactics to Avoid Responsibility.  See our press release noting the publication of this important resource and database of  transcripts.

11-2-06 - [Updated 4-2-07]  We have published a Law Synopsis and Analysis of Judge Kessler's Opinion and Order in US v. Philip Morris [pdf]. See also the set of choice excerpts compiled by the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium.

10-31-06 - U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Philip Morris v. Mayola Williams to Determine the Future of Punitive Damages in the American Civil Justice System. Please see our Backgrounder and Commentary. Read our essay on punitive damages in the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Blog.

9-25-06 - "Light"  Racketeering National Class Action Certified in Federal Court (details soon).  The Decision (over 500 pages) may be viewed here (pdf).  Please see our Backgrounder and Commentary.

9-14-06 - Major Litigation Setbacks for Tobacco Industry in the United States.  TPLP to Hold Conference in Miami this February. Read our Press Release.

8-17-06 - Cigarette Companies Violated Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; Judge Imposes Remedies Please see our Background and CommentaryFinal Opinion (pdf) issued by Judge Kessler; Final Judgment and Remedial Order (pdf) issued by Judge Kessler; See our Special Supplement .

7-26-06 - Philip Morris loses appeal in Arnitz case in Florida.  The July 21 Court of Appeal ruling will benefit plaintiff attorneys who are filing individual cases against the tobacco companies after the July 6th ruling by the Florida Supreme Court in Engle.  Read TPLP's Statement to learn why.

7-06-06 - The Florida Supreme Court Dealt the Cigarette Industry a Devastating Blow by Upholding General Liability on Behalf of Injured and Deceased Florida Smokers and Paving the Way for Tens of Thousands of Streamlined Cases Dealing only with Individual Causation and Punitive Damages to be Filed Within a Year. See our Press Release.  See the Court's Decision HERE.

5-30-06 - U.S. Supreme Court to Examine Tobacco Industry Reprehensibility, set to Review $79.5 Million Punitive Damages Award in Williams Case.  See our Backgrounder and Commentary.

5-17-06 - Oregon Court of Appeals Affirms Liability but Reverses $100 Million Punitive Damages Against Philip Morris Sending Case Back for new Trial on the Amount of Punitive Damages. See our Backgrounder and Commentary.

2-2-06 - Oregon Supreme Court Affirms $79.5 Punitive Damages Against Philip Morris for Wrongful Death of Smoker Jesse Williams.  See our Backgrounder and Commentary.

12-21-05 - California Supreme Court Rules that Federal Law Does Not Prohibit Local Bans on Free Sampling of Tobacco Products.  See our Statement.

12-16-05 - Liggett Settles Missouri Lung Cancer Case as Jury Deliberates.  See Backgrounder and Commentary.

12-15-05 - Illinois Supreme Court Reverses Marlboro "Lights" Class Action One Year After Massachusetts' High Court Approved Similar Class.  Read our Media Backgrounder and Commentary. See Court's Summary and Decision.  Details Soon.

 

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