Litigation Against Tobacco Companies


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-In September 1999, the United States filed a lawsuit against the major cigarette manufacturers and two industry affiliated organizations. United States' Initial Complaint Against Tobacco Companies with Appendix. The United States filed an Amended Complaint in February 2001.

-In Memorandum Opinions filed September 28, 2000, Judge Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled upon defendants' motions to dismiss the federal government's lawsuit. Although one opinion granted, in part, motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim filed by all defendants except B.A.T. Industries plc, Judge Kessler allowed the case to move forward largely intact, holding that the United States had properly stated claims for relief under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. In a separate opinion, the Court also granted B.A.T. Industries' separate motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

-By Order (filed December 22, 2000), the Court appointed a Special Master to assist in resolving case management and discovery disputes.

-By Order (filed July 1, 2002), the Court denied the Joint Defendants' Motion to Enforce Jury Demand, for the reasons discussed in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion.

-The Tenth Case Management Order, (filed October 1, 2002), contained a new schedule for the completion of discovery and other pretrial matters, and advised that trial was set to commence in September 2004.

-In October 2002, the Court issued a Letter of Request for International Judicial Assistance to the Australia Court to take the testimony of Nicholas Cannar, which was accepted by the Australian Court. The Court also issued Letters of Request for International Judicial Assistance for presentation to the English Court to take the testimony of Andrew Foyle and Martin Broughton, which will be presently to the English Court shortly.

-In January 2003, the United States filed its Preliminary Proposed Finding of Fact (Part1, Part2), which detailed the defendants' conduct over the last 50 years. The United States also filed its Preliminary Proposed Conclusions of Law, which set forth the legal grounds upon which the lawsuit was filed. An accompanying set of Annotations, which provided document citations for the United States' proposed findings, was filed with the Court in March 2003.

-In January 2003, defendants similarly filed proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. In April 2003, the United States filed three documents in response to defendants' proposed findings: the United States Response to Joint Defendants' Preliminary Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Regarding Affirmative Defenses; the United States' Reply to Joint Defendants' Preliminary Proposed Conclusions of Law; and the United States' Reply to Defendant Liggett's Preliminary Proposed Conclusions of Law and Findings of Fact Regarding Affirmative Defenses.

-By Order (filed May 23, 2003), the Court denied defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, and Warning Claims and granted, in part, the United States' cross-motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Affirmative Defenses and dismissed a number of each defendants' affirmative defenses. In the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, the Court held that the Federal Trade Commission did not have exclusive jurisdiction over advertising or marketing conduct and that the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act did not preclude the United States' RICO claim.

-All deposition discovery is scheduled to be completed by August 1, 2003.

-The deadline for Summary Judgment Motions is October 1, 2003.

-In Limine Motions are due April 15, 2004.

-United States' Final Proposed Findings of Fact Redacted for Public Filing (Amended) July 1, 2004

-Trial is set to begin on September 21, 2004.

Updated October 20, 2014