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 in this database, 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.

Litigation Tracker

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 (2020)

The legal issue in this case is whether the vape and cigar industries should be allowed to evade the product-by-product review system Congress established in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to protect public health from emerging tobacco products.

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

Nicopure Labs, LLC v. Food and Drug Administration, et al. / Right to be Smoke-free Coalition, et al. v. Food and Drug Administration, et al. (2016) (2018)

The legal issue in this case is whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulation expanding its regulatory authority over cigars, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products violate the Administrative Procedures Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, or the First Amendment.

State: Washington D.C.
Most Recent Decision: 2019
Status: Pending

Jennifer Hochstatter v. John Arntz, Superior Ct. of State of Calif., County of San Francisco, No. CPF-19-516813 (2019)

The legal issue in this case is whether San Francisco’s ballot measure, Proposition C – supported by JUUL Labs and purportedly a youth access law – would  allow flavored e-cigarettes back onto store shelves in San Francisco, overturning city laws passed in 2019 and 2017 that were intended to ban e-cigarettes not regulated by the FDA and to keep products like Juul’s mango and cucumber nicotine pods out of the hands of teens.

State: California
Most Recent Decision: 2019
Status: Pending

Cumberland Farms v. Town of Yarmouth Board of Health, No 2019-P-0020, Mass. Appeals Ct. (2019)

The legal issue in this case is whether the Town of Yarmouth’s multi-step review process based on smelling, tasting, and physically examining tobacco products, including “concept flavors” such as Jazz, meets the evidentiary standard required by law to identify these products as flavored.

State: Massachusetts
Most Recent Decision: 2019
Status: Pending

Cigar Association of America v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration (No. 1:16-cv-1460 D.D.C. 2017)

The legal issue in this case is whether the warning label disclosure requirements of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Deeming Rule are a rational, well-justified response to the public health issues associated with cigars.

State: Washington D.C.
Most Recent Decision: 2019
Status: Pending

Mahfoud Abdella v. Town of Johnston & LA Enterprises, No. PC-2018-0466, Providence, R.I. S.C. (2019)

The legal issue in this case is whether the Town of Johnston, Rhode Island, has the authority to enact an ordinance that removes flavored tobacco products from general stores and requires that they be sold in vape shops or smoking bans, and that prohibits tobacco retailers from accepting coupons or providing discounts for any tobacco product.

State: Rhode Island
Most Recent Decision: 2019
Status: Pending

Abdul Khan v. Town of Middletown, and The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, LLC, C.A. No. NC-2017-0443 (2018)

The legal issue in this case is whether the Town of Middletown, Rhode Island, has the authority to enact science-based public health laws to protect its residents – particularly its youth – from addiction to tobacco products and the toll of tobacco-related disease and death.

State: Rhode Island
Most Recent Decision: 2018
Status: Resolved

K & W Automotive v. Barrington, No. PC-2018-0471, Providence, R.I. S.C. (2018)

The legal issue in this case is whether the Town of Barrington, Rhode Island, has the authority to enact science-based public health laws to protect its residents – particularly its youth – from addiction to tobacco products and the toll of tobacco-related disease and death.

State: Rhode Island
Most Recent Decision: 2018
Status: Pending