Litigation Tracker

Litigation is an important tool for both defending and advancing public health policy. Below you will find information and official court documents from select lawsuits within the focus areas of the Public Health Law Center, including commercial tobacco control and healthy eating. Additionally, we have included some cases relevant to cross-cutting issues that affect public health, such as preemption and First Amendment considerations.
 
In some of the cases included here, the Public Health Law Center has supported public health goals as an amicus curiae, or friend-of-the-court, by filing briefs with relevant information that the court might wish to consider in addition to information presented by the litigants. You can read more about the Function and Role of Amicus Briefs in Public Health Litigation.
 
This tool was previously known as the Amicus Briefs Database. This modified resource will reflect new content and the expansion of previous content.

Litigation Tracker

African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Human Services et al. (2020)

Public health groups sue the FDA over its failure to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes.

State: California
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Pending

Vapor Technology Association et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2019)

E-cigarette manufacturers and trade group challenged the deeming rule under the Administrative Procedure Act and on Constitutional grounds.

State: Kentucky
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Resolved

Neighborhood Market Association, Inc. v. County of San Diego, No. 3:20-cv-01124 (S.D. Cal. 2020)

The legal issue in this case is whether the Tobacco Control Act preempts the County of San Diego's flavored tobacco product ordinance.

State: California
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Pending

Cigar Association of America et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2016)

Cigar and pipe tobacco trade associations filed suit against the FDA, challenging the deeming rule as it applies to cigars and pipe tobacco. The suit is ongoing, but has resulted in a suspension of warning labels for cigars and pipe tobacco and the premarket review process specifically for premium cigars.

State: Washington D.C.
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Pending

R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company et al. v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration et al., No. 6:20-cv-00176 (E.D. Tex. 2020)

Shortly after the FDA issued its new graphic warning label rule in the March 18, 2020 Federal Register, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and several other manufacturers, distributors, and retailers filed suit against the FDA in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

State: Texas
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Pending

Big Time Vapes, Inc., et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2019)

An e-cigarette manufacturer and trade association challenged the deeming rule on Constitutional grounds.

State: Mississippi
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Resolved

American Academy of Pediatrics v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration (2016)

Public health groups sued the FDA to compel the agency to require graphic warning labels on cigarette packages and advertisements. The public health groups won. FDA appealed, but dropped the appeal after it issued a new graphic warning rule in March, 2020.

State: Massachusetts
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Resolved

American Academy of Pediatrics et al., v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration et al., Nos. 19-2130, -2132, -2198 & -2242, U.S. Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit (2018)

Public health groups successfully challenged FDA’s 2017 guidance indefinitely extending premarket review deadlines. FDA issued updated guidance reflecting an expedited schedule. The industry appealed, but the district court’s ruling was upheld by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on May 4, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the deadline to submit premarket review applications was extended to September 9, 2020.

State: Washington D.C.
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Pending