In a surprise 5-4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that a state lawsuit brought by Maine smokers could proceed against the parent company of Philip Morris for fraudulently advertising the health benefits of "light" cigarettes. The majority ruling rejected Altria's assertion that the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act pre-empts state tort actions. The decision runs against the Court's recent trend in favor of federal pre-emption in cases involving tort litigation against businesses.
Supreme Court Issues Surprise Ruling Against Cigarette Makers in Pre-emption Case
December 16, 2008