United States, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al.
In 1999, the United States filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the major cigarette manufacturers and related trade organizations alleging that defendants, while acting as an enterprise, 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 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.
This opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reviews the District Court’s previous order regarding the clarification of an injunction requiring the defendants to report marketing data. The defendants argued the previous order changed the reporting requirements of marketing data to effect a ‘modification’ of the initial injunction. The appellate court held the order was a simple clarification and not a ‘modification’ of the previous injunction, therefore there was no procedural ground for the defendants to further delay the reporting required by the initial injunction.