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

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company et al v. County of Los Angeles et al. (2020)

Tobacco Industry challenges the County of Los Angeles’ flavored tobacco product sales restriction, arguing the ordinance is expressly and impliedly preempted by federal law.

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

CA Smoke and Vape Association, Inc. et al v. County of Los Angeles, et al. (2020)

E-cigarette industry trade association and smoke shop challenges the County of Los Angeles’ flavored tobacco product ordinance, arguing that the ordinance is preempted by federal law and is unconstitutionally vague.

State: California
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Resolved

Philip Morris USA Inc. and Sherman Group Holdings, LLC v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration et al. (2020)

Industry challenges the FDA’s graphic warning label rule on First Amendment grounds. 

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

CA Smoke and Vape Association, Inc. et al v. City of Palmdale (2020)

Industry trade association challenges City of Palmdale’s flavored tobacco product sales restriction, arguing that the ordinance is expressly and impliedly preempted by federal law.

State: California
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Resolved

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

American Academy of Pediatrics et al., v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration et al. (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

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

Tobacco industry retailer association challenges the County of San Diego’s flavored tobacco product sales restriction, arguing the restriction is expressly and impliedly preempted by federal law.

State: California
Most Recent Decision: 2020
Status: Pending