Vice Squad
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Suits Against Big Tobacco Get Go-Ahead in US, Canada

One of my first-rate students informs me that today's Chicago Tribune includes this article (registration required) concerning a ruling against the tobacco companies in their ongoing federal racketeering lawsuit. The ruling allows the US government to proceed in its efforts to force the companies to "disgorge" past profits, to the tune of, oh, $280 billion. The government alleges, among other things, that the tobacco companies were deceptive in their advertising practices. Vice Squad looked at an earlier anti-tobacco company ruling in the same case in mid-March.

Our northern neighbors in British Columbia have a similar lawsuit pending against tobacco companies, though the monetary stakes are smaller: $10 billion, Canadian. The BC government was given the right to proceed when a Court of Appeal ruled that the lawsuit itself satisfied constitutional norms.

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