The Federal Circuit Court for the District of Columbia has Big Tobacco reeling on its heels after a landmark decision released on Friday, May 22, 2009. In the U.S. Government’s decade long battle against Big Tobacco, a three judge panel agreed unanimously that there was enough evidence to conclude that Big Tobacco has conspired for decades to deceive the American public about the health risks of smoking.
This decision affirmed a Federal District Court decision in 2006, finding that Big Tobacco had purposefully mislead the American public with false and deceptive advertising that smoking “light” or “low tar” cigarettes were not as hazardous as other brands of cigarettes. The Federal Government’s argument has been that Big Tobacco has violated the powerful RICO anti-racketeering laws, and in 1999 the Clinton Administration filed a lawsuit against the tobacco industry for engaging in a civil racketeering scheme to defraud the American public.
The Appeals Court found that Big Tobacco has known since the 1950s that smoking causes diseases, including lung cancer, and yet lied to the American public in order to save profits and maximize on their corporate greed. Now, the Federal Government hopes to take tougher measures against Big Tobacco, by changing their marketing policies. The Court, however, did not grant the Federal Government’s larger requests for the creation of a smoking cessation program and youth anti-smoking program.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.