Clinton v. Brown and Williamson Holdings Inc.

A widow brought suit against tobacco companies on behalf of her deceased husband seeking punitive damages for failure to warn, fraudulent concealment, design defect, and fraud in marketing pertaining to the Marlboro Lights brand. Upon motion to vacate an order for summary judgment previously handed down by the Court, the plaintiff argued that Philip Morris gave the public the false impression that Marlboro Light cigarettes were safer than other filtered cigarettes because they delivered a lower amount of nicotine and tar to the smoker in violation of state law. The defendant argued that the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act preempted state law's requirement or prohibition related to smoking and health with regards to advertising and promotion of cigarette packaging that conformed with the federal act's provisions. Finding no preemption and that a causal connection between the defendant's fraudulent statements and the deceased's injuries was established by evidence demonstrating that the deceased had continued smoking because he believed "light" cigarettes to be "safer" than other cigarettes, the Court granted the plaintiff's motion to vacate the summary judgment order.


Clinton v. Brown & Williamson Holdings, Inc., et al., 652 F. Supp. 2d 528, United States District Court, S.D. New York (2009).

  • United States
  • Sep 8, 2009
  • United States District Court, S.D. New York


Plaintiff Eileen A. Clinton, on behalf of herself and as Administratix of the Estate of William A. Champagne, Jr.


  • Brown & Williamson Holdings, Inc., as successor by merger to The American Tobacco Company
  • Philip Morris, USA, Inc.

Legislation Cited

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Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product