Altria Group, Inc. v. Good
- Case Date: 4/7/2008
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On December 15, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an appeals court decision that permits plaintiffs' lawyers to bring tort suits against tobacco companies for advertising that their cigarettes are low in tar and nicotine, even though such promotions used data developed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The 5-4 decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief urging that the appeals court decision be overturned. WLF argued that any tort suit that seeks to regulate advertising based on the health-related effects of smoking is preempted by federal law. WLF argued that Congress intended to make the FTC the sole regulator of such ads. The Court disagreed, holding that the federal law in question preempts only some advertising-related suits against cigarette makers. It held that suits alleging fraud by cigarette manufacturers (by allegedly misleading smokers into thinking that they would be exposed to less tar and nicotine if they smoked "light" cigarettes) are not preempted.
More Information and Downloads:
4/7/2008: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Court Permit States to Second-Guess FTC Cigarette Advertising Rules