Supreme Court To Hear 'Light' Cigarette Case

  • January 22, 2008
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear Altria Group v. Stephanie Good to determine whether the nation's largest cigarette producer, Philip Morris, should be shielded from liability in connection with its representation that Marlboro Lights are lower in tar and nicotine, and in its use of "Lights" as a description.

Plaintiffs said in their brief that "for over 30 years, Philip Morris falsely reported on its cigarette packages that consumers would receive lower amounts of tar and nicotine from Marlboro Lights than from regular Marlboro cigarettes." Plaintiffs allege that Philip Morris is exposed to liability for fraud under state consumer protection laws.

Philip Morris in essence argues that only the federal government could regulate cigarette companies because the federal government has preempted the field of cigarette marketing, thereby eviscerating the ability of the states to police fraud on the part of the cigarette industry.

--Nina M. Lentini

Next story loading loading..