英美烟草从美国政府烟草诉讼案中脱身
2011年03月31日来源:烟草在线据路透社报道编译

  烟草在线据路透社报道编译  英美烟草赢得了诉讼战斗,从发现烟草公司在烟草危害方面合谋撒谎的美国司法部诉讼中撤出。

  美国地方法院法官格格拉迪斯·凯斯勒,引述了美国最高法院对她自2006年以来针对英美烟草和其他公司所提起的诉讼的裁决,声称她批准该公司从这起案件中撤出的申请。

  在2006年8月,凯斯勒裁决到,这些公司违反了欺诈法,并且在卷烟的营销中不能再使用诸如“低焦油”或“淡味”的描述语。上诉法庭维持了她的裁决。

  “英美烟草对这个结果很满意,”为此案件辩护的团队中的Chadbourne & Parke公司的合伙人菲利普·普费弗说。“作为一家外国公司,英美烟草公司一直认为它不应该成为美国政府由于担心美国公众健康而提起诉讼的一个被告。”

  周一(3.28),凯斯勒还裁决道,英美烟草必须支付政府提起诉讼的一部分费用。

  “由于法院裁决英美烟草公司对此案件没有责任,英美烟草公司将探索与成本问题相关的备选方案,”普费弗说,估计费用大约为39.5万美元左右。

  原诉讼中的被告包括:菲莫美国的奥驰亚集团公司、雷诺美国的雷诺烟草公司、罗瑞拉德烟草公司和英美烟草。

  英美烟草拥有雷诺烟草在2004年购买的布朗·威廉姆森公司。而英美烟草拥有雷诺烟草42%的股份。

  该案件是在1999年克林顿政府提起的,索赔28.9亿美元的损失。在于2004年开始的最初审判中,布什政府下属的司法部把对用于反烟活动的索赔额减少到了140亿美元。

  但是凯斯勒总结说,她甚至不能迫使这些公司根据上诉法庭的裁决资助反烟活动。

  该案件在美国哥伦比亚区地区法院的编号为99-2496。

British American Tobacco dropped from U.S. case

Reuters
Mon Mar 28, 2011

  WASHINGTON – British American Tobacco Plc has won its fight to be dropped from a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit in which cigarette companies were found to have conspired to lie about the dangers of tobacco.

  U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued since her 2006 judgment against British American Tobacco and other companies, said she would grant the request by the company to be severed from the case.

  Kessler ruled in August 2006 that the companies broke racketeering laws and could no longer use expressions such as "low tar" or "light" in their cigarette marketing. An appeals court upheld her decision.

  "BAT is pleased at the result," said Philip Pfeffer, a partner at Chadbourne & Parke LLP who was part of the team who argued the case. "BATCo as a foreign company was always of the view that it should never have been a defendant in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. government concerning the U.S. public."

  Kessler also ruled on Monday that BAT must still pay a portion of the government's costs of bringing the lawsuit.

  "In light of the court's ruling that invalidated BATCo's liability, BATCo will be exploring its potential options in connection with the issue of costs," said Pfeffer, estimating those at about $395,000.

  Defendants named in the original suit included Altria Group Inc, which owns Philip Morris USA Inc; Reynolds American's R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, Lorillard Tobacco Co and British American Tobacco.

  BAT had owned Brown & Williamson, which R.J. Reynolds Tobacco bought in 2004. BAT, however, does own 42 per cent of Reynolds American.

  The case was filed in 1999 by the Clinton administration, which sought $289 billion in damages. During the original trial, which began in 2004, the Justice Department under the Bush administration scaled back its demands to $14 billion for anti-smoking campaigns.

  But Kessler concluded she could not even force the companies to fund a smoking-cessation program under an appeals court ruling.

  The case in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is no. 99-2496.

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