S: By Kim Dumke and Antoinette Fernando
FC: Cipollone vs. Liggett Group
1: Table of Contents | I. Background - Cipollone......pages 2-3 - Tobacco......pages 4-5 II. Lower Court Information......pages 8-13 III. Supreme Court Information......pages 14-15 IV. Aftermath......pages 18-21 V. Citation......pages 22-23
2: Background Info | Cipollone | Rose Cipollone was born in 1925, and began smoking at the age of sixteen. Rose stated that the reasons that she began smoking were the result of cigarette ads that made smoking look glamorous and attractive. She quickly became addicted and smoked for the next 40 years. Over time she developed a smoker’s cough, and in 1981 she was diagnosed with lung cancer. In 1982 she had a lung removed, but continued to smoke. Rose Cipollone and her husband Antonio
3: filed suit against Liggett, Philip Morris, and Lorillard in 1983. These three brands were the types of cigarettes that Rose Cipollone had been smoking since sixteen. Rose blamed these companies for luring her into a lifestyle of smoking, and she felt as though they had betrayed her trust in them. Rose Cipollone died on October 21, 1984 from lung cancer; she was fifty-eight years old. Her husband, Antontio Cipollone, continued the case after she died.
4: Tobacco Companies | -Tobacco has always held an important place, especially in the beginning of the United States. It was a “cash crop” for the colonists, and used it to pay off wars and start a good economy. - Around the 1950’s, cigarettes were seen as a socially accepted activity. There were advertisements everywhere encouraging the smoking of cigarettes. Many depicted movie stars, models, and famous people smoking cigarettes which made consumers feel they should do it as well. It was a cool phenomenon. -This was not the first time that someone had sued a tobacco company; however, it was the first time that anyone had made it all the way to the Supreme Court.
5: There were many charges that were made against cigarette companies and they skimmed past all of them. -Breach of express warranty: Violation of written promise to the consumer. -Deceit, or fraudulant misrepresentation: Deceiving or tricking a person of the true facts resulting in that persons harm. -Negligence: failure to use care to inform the other causing him her harm -Breach of implied warranty: indirectly stated promise | - The 1950s and 1960s were the first wave of tobacco lawsuits. - In the 1970s tighter regulation on the tobacco industry were applied - In the 1980’s the second wave of tobacco lawsuits ensued. - Lawsuits in the 1950s failed to win because: -the legal theories were hard to prove -tobacco companies prolonged the case - The lack of money forced smokers to drop the case -Tobacco companies had plenty of money so they could continue as long as they wanted - There was no definite medical proof that smoking lead to lung disease and that nicotine was addictive
6: Case Information | On January 10, 1990 Antontio Cipollone, husband of Rose Cipollone, died of heart failure. He had continued the legal battle after Rose died in 1984. After his death, the Cipollones' son, Thomas, took over the case and continued the fight. | Rose and Antonio Cipollone began their legal battle in 1983, filing suit against Liggett, Philip Morris, and Lorillard. However, Rose Cipollone died from lung cancer October 21, 1984, leaving her husband to continue the case himself.
7: Thomas, or Tom, Cipollone, son of Antonio and Rose Cipollone, was the petitioner of the case; this meant that he was the one who filed a petition with the Supreme Court. The respondent, or opposing party, was Liggett Group, Inc. Tom Cipollone made four claims against Ligget Group, Inc: *Failure to Warn: did not provide substantial health warnings *Breach of Express Warranty: did not carry out the promises made in advertisemen *Fraudulent Misrepresentation: *Conspiracy to Defraud: concealed facts about health hazards | Arguments For Cipollone
8: Farr made two main arguments in favor for Liggett Group: *Because the 1965 Labeling Act restricts states from making laws about smoking and health, tobacco companies could not be held responsible for not using additional health warnings other than the federal warning *One cannot use a state lawsuit to control the tobacco industry; it interferes with the 1965 Labeling Act that Congress put into effect | Arguments For Liggett Group Inc.
10: Tobacco Companies: Earlier Court Cases | Almost 30 years before the Cipollone case was the first smoking liability case. It was filed in federal court in hopes of gaining money for the harm that the cigarrettes caused. During this case, Pritchard v. Liggett and Myers, Pritchard referred to the propaganda cigarette companies were using to draw in customers. They stated things like, “Chesterfields are best for you,” and followed in that manner. He lost in the trial court because he could not prove that the advertisement was relied on when he bought the cigarettes. He then appealed but still could not prove that the ads influenced his decision to buy the cigarettes. This continued on for twelve years and then Pritchard dropped it.
11: Like Pritchard’s case, many other cases followed and failed. Throughout the tobacco industries history there was constant suing. Many of those who sued suffered from disease, died early on, or were the lovers of those who had died of a disease caused by cigarettes. When smokers claimed that cigarettes gave them cancer, tobacco companies replied saying they did not know or could not have known about the harmful substances in the cigarettes.
12: Earlier Court Cases Cont. | In 1990, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in the Dewey v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. case. This case was very similar to the Cipollone case. The court ruled that the 1965 Federal Cigarette Labeling Act did not override the liability of tobacco companies dealing with state law claims after 1965. | There had been forty-five lawsuits similar to the Cipollone case in lower courts across the country in 1991. On several occasions state courts ruled in favor of the smokers, whereas the federal courts ruled in favor of the tobacco companies.
14: Supreme Court | After years of legal battle the Cippolone case finally found its way to civil trial in 1988. Sadly, Rose Cipollone died years before in 1984, therefore her husband continued as the only plaintiff. The trial continued for four and a half months. Finally the court decided in favor of the tobacco companies because Cippolone had not proven there claims against the defendants. The did however place a $400,000 damage award against Ligget to Cipollone. This was to get the message to tobacco companies that they should have said their products were harmful. This reward was the first award judgement in a smoking related case. Though this was the verdict, both the tobacco companies and Cipollone appealed to the Third Circuit. They got rid of the damage reward, said that Ligget could be held liable for failing to warn claims before 1965 law, and said the tobacco companies could also be held liable for claims of express warranty and risk utility. Above all, they ordered a new trial.This new trial was conducted in the Supreme Court.
15: They ordered both parties to re-argue the case on January 13, 1992. After which they presented their opinion on June 24. This opinion was split, resulting in a plurality opinion. This means more Justices joined than not but there was no certain majority. | Antoinio Cipollone’s writ of certiorari in 1986 was denied but in 1990 his son’s writ of certiorari was accepted. This case had been already in court for eight years. It was carried on by the Cipollone’s son, Thomas, because Antonio Cipollone died of heart failure in 1990. | The Supreme Court had a difficult question to, they had to figure out if the 1965 Labeling Act of the 1969 amendment protected the cigarette companies from state liability claims. | The court was made up of the nine members: Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Justice Byron R. White, Justice John Paul Stevens, Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Justice David H. Souter, and Justice Clarence Thomas.
16: Facing their question from earlier, whether the Federal Laws override claims based on state laws. The federal laws being the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act and te Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act. This question was resolved through the Supremacy Clause though. It means that any federal law overrides state law. | The federal preemption though had to be proved by way of the Justicies interpreting what exactly those labeling laws, Congress passed, meant. Did they want to protect tobacco companies from state liability claims if they had the proper federal warning labels? The Justices had split thoughts on preemption and so they had four opinions but only one was the final opinion of the court.
17: The Supreme Court decided that the 1965 Act does not prevent lawsuits for claims under state law, but it did override warnings by the state on tobacco labels and ads. Congress meant to prevent states from adding to many different regulation. The federal warning does not rule out additional legal duties set by states for cigarette makers. | This resulting opinion had neither victory nor failure for either party, though the Chipollone’s claims never got through. In the final analysis, the Supreme Court did not make a final decision on the issue of preemption.Instead they sent the case back down to the lower courts for retrial, through their new opinion.
18: - This opinion did not make room for smokers claiming that they were mislead about health risks as well. | - The resulting opinion also did not have any effect on the liability laws of states. The law of 1987 still protected tobacco companies from lawsuits based on “failure to warn.” | -Tom Cipollone felt he won through carrying his mother’s wish to make the public aware of all the pain she went through because of cigarettes. She wanted to prevent people from smoking through her example. | Aftermath
19: - American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the American Heart Association issued a joint statement. They were glad that the Supreme Courts decision made it so that cigarette companies could not mislead the public through licence given by the acts. | - Tobacoo companies were also pleased with the decision. This final opinion meant that there would be no “flood of new cases.”
20: Tobacco Today | Many cases have been filed since the Cipollone case. In March of 1994, one of the largest class-action suits was filed by smokers against the tobacco industry. One person was chosen to represent the large group of plaintiffs; Peter Constano, a Louisiana attorney who died of lung cancer. This case involved 65 different law firms from different states. The main focus was on nicotine addiction and about the tobacco industry’s alleged lies about it. An appeals court disqualified the Castano case two years later; the court ruled that there were too many plaintiffs and states involved.
21: There are many restrictions on smoking these days; smoking is banned in some public places, and you can only smoke in certain areas. | Large taxes are also placed on cigarettes; this is done not only to gain money but to also discourage people from smoking.
22: Citation | - Cipollone v. Liggett Group - Cippolone Dies, But Her Case Proceeds - "Cipollone v. Liggett Group, U.S. Supreme Court Case Summary & Oral Argument." The Oyez Project | U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Recordings, Case Abstracts and More. Web. 27 Mar. 2011.
23: http://www.richardsonsmokefree.org/WhySign.php - http://pzrservices.typepad.com/vintageadvertising/2007/08/creepy-philip-m.html -http://www.flickriver.com/groups/1000826@N20/pool/interesting/ -http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Rose_Defrancesco_Cipollone -http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/jco/lowres/jcon874l.jpg - http://www.cigarette-store.org/gallery/default/medium/12636/Liggett-_-Myers-Tobacco-Com.jpg?1295348333 - http://www.tobaccoworld.org/possible-tax-increase-on-cigarettes/ - https://nccnews.expressions.syr.edu/?p=6632 http://uk.tobaccoonline.co.uk/product.asp?subcat=LIGGETT&sm=S | Pictures | Pictures