United States v. Philip Morris USA, et al.

In 1999, the United States filed a lawsuit against the major cigarette manufacturers and related trade organizations alleging that defendants fraudulently misled American consumers for decades about the risks and dangers of cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke in violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In 2006, the court found that defendants violated RICO and that there was a reasonable likelihood that defendants would continue to violate civil provisions of RICO in the future. On appeal, the district court’s findings were upheld, in part, vacated, in part, and remanded, in part, to the district court. After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from both sides in the case in June 2010, the district court began to implement the 2006 final order.

Several defendants filed a motion to clarify the 2006 final order on two points.  The court denied the request to clarify the general prohibitions against future violations of RICO, noting that the nine-month trial and the subsequent findings of fact entered by the court provided the defendants with sufficient notice of the kinds of conduct restricted by the injunction.  The court granted the request to clarify the extraterritorial implications of the injunction and determined that the prohibitions against deceptive health information and misleading descriptors applied without, as well as within, the United States.


United States v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al., 477 F. Supp. 2d 191, United States District Court for the District of Columbia (2007).

  • United States
  • Mar 16, 2007
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia


Plaintiff United States of America

Defendant Philip Morris USA, Inc. (f/k/a Philip Morris, Inc.), et al.

Third Party

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • American Lung Association
  • Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights
  • National African American Tobacco Prevention Network
  • Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund

Legislation Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product