Renewable Energy Insights > Troutman Sanders LLP

Category — Lawsuits/Court Decisions

Lawsuit Challenges USDA’s Failure to Collect Tobacco Buy-Out Assessments from Tribal Manufacturers

On August 14, 2014, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (“RJR”) and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc. (“Santa Fe”) sued the United States Department of Agriculture (the “USDA”), among others, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  In their two-count complaint, RJR and Santa Fe allege violations of the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act (the “FETRA”) and the Administrative Procedure Act (the “APA”). [Read more →]

August 21, 2014   Comments Off

Big Win for Small Tobacco in Texas

In 2013, the Texas legislature introduced and approved House Bill 3525, which imposed a 55-cent-per-pack fee on cigarettes manufactured by companies that did not participate in the Texas tobacco Settlement Agreement.  The Texas Small Tobacco Coalition and Global Tobacco, Inc. filed a lawsuit challenging the fee against the Texas Attorney General and Comptroller.  [Read more →]

August 20, 2014   Comments Off

E-Cigarette Patent Litigation Continues

The saga of plaintiff Timothy Sheridan, named inventor of U.S. Patent No. 7,415,982 for a “Smokeless Pipe,” continues.  In the latest chapter, Sheridan filed a pro se complaint for patent infringement against the United States government in the Court of Federal Claims on August 4, 2014, alleging that the government somehow prevented Sheridan from enforcing the ‘982 patent.  Underlying that allegation is Sheridan’s contention that all currently marketed e-cigarettes and vaporizers infringe the ‘982 patent. [Read more →]

August 18, 2014   Comments Off

Federal Court Upholds New York City Ban on Tobacco Discounting

On June 18, 2014, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York upheld a New York City ordinance that effectively prohibits all promotional marketing and discounts for cigarettes and tobacco products.  The District Court found that there was no First Amendment violation and that the newly enacted city code, which bans any sale of cigarettes or tobacco products below the “listed” or “advertised” price, was not preempted by federal or state law. [Read more →]

July 8, 2014   Comments Off

Allocable Share Bill Again Defeated in Missouri

We reported earlier this year on the reintroduction of the allocable share legislation in Missouri, which would prevent non-signatories to the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) from obtaining refunds of their escrow payments.  The bill has been defeated. [Read more →]

June 20, 2014   Comments Off

Oklahoma Supreme Court Upholds $47 Million Judgment Against Tobacco Distributor

In a case that has been ongoing since May 2008, on June 10, 2014, the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s award of $47.7 million in favor of the State of Oklahoma for alleged violations of the Oklahoma Master Settlement Agreement Complementary Act.  The sole question on appeal was whether the State was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.  That means, the Oklahoma high court decided whether the trial court erred in finding for the State by not sending the case to a jury for a trial. [Read more →]

June 19, 2014   Comments Off

Major Tobacco Companies to Appeal “Apology” Language

On January 22, lawyers for Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and Altria told a federal judge that they will appeal the language to be included in court-ordered advertisements “apologizing” for misleading the public about the health effects of smoking.  [Read more →]

January 27, 2014   Comments Off

Court of Appeals Rules Against Philip Morris in Tobacco Buyout Dispute

In an earlier blog post, we discussed a case pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in which the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia evaluated the methodology used by the United States Department of Agriculture (the “USDA”) to determine the amount of assessments levied against tobacco product manufacturers and importers under the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act (“FETRA”). Philip Morris sued the USDA, claiming that the USDA had improperly calculated the FETRA assessments. [Read more →]

November 29, 2013   Comments Off

Mississippi Supreme Court Partially Invalidates Mississippi NPM Fee

On April 4, 2013, the Supreme Court of Mississippi declared unconstitutional the imposition of a nonsettling-manufacturer (“NSM”) fee on cigarettes that are distributed through Mississippi for sale to a retailer outside of the state.  In 2009, the Mississippi Legislature enacted a law imposing a fee for nonparticipating manufacturers on the sale, purchase, and distribution in Mississippi of cigarettes “including cigarettes sold, purchased or otherwise distributed in [Mississippi] for sale outside of this state.”  Miss. Code Ann. § 27-70-5 (Rev. 2010) (emphasis added). [Read more →]

October 15, 2013   Comments Off

Arbitration Panel Rules Against State of New Mexico

As mentioned in a previous blog post, on September 11, 2013, a three-member federal arbitration panel decided the on-going dispute among three participating manufacturers (“PMs”) and 15 states involving the 2003 payment obligations under the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”). [Read more →]

October 3, 2013   Comments Off