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BREAKING: Judge Kessler rules for government in tobacco civil RICO case

AP. We had covered the case Feb. 5, 2005 and Jul. 24; see also Overlawyered June 21, 2005 and links therein.

Update, 5:22 pm. A 1653-page ruling is tough going, but early indications are both sides are secretly unhappy while claiming to happy; the government didn't get the billions of dollars of damages it sought (though that vindicates the decision of government officials that it would be unreasonable to seek even more after the D.C. Circuit struck the disgorgement claim), but the tobacco industry is being ordered to make concessions about fraud that could cost it billions in future litigation.

Update, 7:15 AM. I'm surprised the after-hours market is resulting in a rise in the price of tobacco stocks. This is perhaps a result of the fact that no damages were awarded, but the requirement of admitting to fraud, if upheld, is going to cost the tobacco companies much more in the long term. There are still a number of "light" consumer fraud cases pending. Walter comments in much more detail at Overlawyered. WSJ, NY Times, WaPo, and the LA Times all have coverage.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.