LANGUAGE

Cipollone v. Liggett Group, et al.

Thomas Cipollone, son of deceased smoker Rose Cipollone, sued Liggett Group, Inc., for failing to warn consumers about the harm of smoking and fraudulently misleading consumers through the packaging and labeling of its products.  Liggett argued that such arguments were preempted by The Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (the "1965 Act") and The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969, which required the conspicuous placement of a warning (Surgeon General's Warning) on cigarette packaging. The Court held that the 1965 Act did not preclude any state common law damage claims but that the 1969 Act preempted certain, but not all, common law damage claims.  The 1969 Act barred plaintiffs from asserting claims, among others, that, after 1969, tobacco companies either failed to warn adequately of the claimed health risks of cigarette smoking.  The Court held, however, that individuals could bring claims after 1969 for fraudulent misrepresentation (other than a claim of fraudulently neutralizing the warning), concealment (other than in advertising and promotion of cigarettes), conspiracy and breach of express warranty.