July 28, 29010 - The U.S. Supreme Court today, June 28th rejected the Justice Department’s bid for as much as $280 billion in tobacco company profits, refusing to hear an Obama administration appeal.
The court also rejected, without comment, an appeal by the tobacco companies of a ruling by a lower court that the companies had violated racketeering law by conspiring to lie for years to sell tobacco products they knew were dangerous. But the elimination of any potential for a large payout was seen as a victory for cigarette makers.
Background..It is now critical that the trial court move forward with strongly enforcing the remedies that it did order. These include requiring the tobacco companies to make corrective statements about the health risks of smoking and secondhand smoke and their deceptive practices through newspaper and television advertising, on their web sites and on cigarette packaging. The trial court also ordered the tobacco companies to report marketing data annually to the government, extended and expanded current requirements that the cigarette manufacturers make public their internal documents produced in litigation, and prohibited the companies from committing acts of racketeering or making false, misleading or deceptive statements about cigarettes and their health risks in the future. The court also banned deceptive cigarette labels such as "light" and "low-tar," a ban that has already taken effect as a result of a new federal law granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products.
The U.S. government and three cigarette makers separately asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, February 19th to review a racketeering verdict against major tobacco companies that was upheld by an appeals court last year.
For more background information click on the following: U.S. federal govt and 3-cigarette makers asked the Supreme Court to review racketeering verdict..
References: UPDATE 3-Supreme Court rejects appeal for tobacco damages by James Vicini and Emily Stephenson (editing by John Wallace and Matthew Lewis), Reuters, 6/28/2010; U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Verdict that Tobacco Companies Conspired To Deceive American Public and Addict Children, Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 6/28/2010.