Court Approves Agreement For “Corrective Statements” About Cigarette Company Fraud; Intervenors Urge Court To Include Corrective Statements In Retailer Displays

Earlier this week, Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. district court in D.C. approved a comprehensive agreement under which the largest cigarette companies will be required to publish Corrective Statements on five topics in major newspapers and TV networks, and on their own websites and cigarette packs.  Implementation of the agreement, which our Firm helped negotiate on behalf of six public health group intervenors - including Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society, and American Lung Association - will carry out Judge Kessler’s landmark 2006 ruling finding the companies responsible for massive consumer fraud concerning the adverse health impacts and addictiveness of cigarettes.  The Statements will explain that the companies “deliberately deceived the American public,” and will provide accurate information about their deadly products.  The Statements will run once Defendants’ pending appeal over the precise wording of the Statements is resolved.

Yesterday, we filed a brief urging that the Court also require the Corrective Statements to appear in displays at certain retailers where cigarettes are sold, and where the companies engage in massive marketing.  We explain that this additional venue is critical to insure adequate reach of the Statements, particularly to youth and disadvantaged communities, and that, contrary to the arguments of certain retailers, putting the Statements in their stores will not impact their rights or their bottom line.  Judge Kessler’s recent Order is here.