April 3, 2008: “Light” Cigarettes Class Action Denied
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied class lawsuit filed by the cigarette smokers who claimed that they were misled into believing that “light” cigarettes were healthier compared to “full-flavored” cigarettes. The court rejected the class action due to many individual issues of proof presented, which made the class “not maintainable” under federal procedural rules.
November 28, 2006: Supreme Court Rejects 10.1 Billion “Light” Cigarette Verdict
US Supreme Court sustained the dismissal of the $10.1 billion verdict against the “light” cigarette manufacturer, Philip Morris USA. It was last year when the Illinois State Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Madison County Court in favor of the Illinois smokers who claimed that Philip Morris knew that “light” cigarettes were not healthier compared to regular cigarettes when the company presented them in 1971. The US Supreme Court maintained the ruling of the Illinois Supreme Court that Philip Morris was not responsible under the state law because the Federal Trade Commission or FTC permits tobacco companies to apply the terms “light” and “low tar,” although they are not true or misleading.
November 1, 2006: “Light” Cigarettes Ban on Hold
The federal court in the District of Columbia hindered a judgment against the tobacco industry, permitting tobacco companies to go on selling and advertising their “light” and “low tar” cigarettes until their appeals of the lower court decision are heard. It was in August when a federal district court judge ruled that tobacco companies defied the racketeering laws by deceiving the general public regarding the health effects of smoking. Part of the decision of the court was to order the tobacco companies to release “corrective statements” and to discontinue labeling cigarettes as “low tar,” “light,” “ultra light,” or “mild.”
October 24, 2006: “Light” Cigarettes Case Under Review
Federal appeals court gave a temporary stay while it would decide whether a $200 billion class-action lawsuit over the “light” cigarettes could continue to trial. The lawsuit that was given class action status in September, was brought by “light” cigarettes smokers who claimed that tobacco companies cheated them into thinking that light cigarettes were safer compared to regular cigarettes. The defendant tobacco companies disputed that the term “light” means a lighter-tasting cigarette, and smokers should understand the intended meaning of the term.