Cigarette and tobacco producers pledge settlements hidden from the public eye every year, but could never compensate for emotional losses and health issues of millions.
Tobacco industry giant Phillip Morris filed a lawsuit on February 28, 2008 against an Orangeburg, NY cigarette manufacturer in hopes of putting an end to the importation, distribution, and sale of apparently counterfeit cigarettes.
Speaking relatively, however, little is being done to diminish the production of cigarettes containing harmful material. Tobacco producers haven’t made much progress in finding alternative ways to make cigarettes healthier either, compared to the amount of legal action taken against consumers and competitors.
The court scheme centered on the Phillip Morris claim that Nice Pak Products, Inc used the Marlboro® trademark without any prior authorization. Prior to this action, US border authorities had seized counterfeit Marlboro® products from the small, New York City suburb company.
Charlie Whitaker, one of the vice presidents of Phillip Morris USA, pointed out: “This [lawsuit] represents the latest in a series of actions we are taking to protect our brands and the law abiding businesses that sell them from unfair competition.” (Philip Morris)
The action constituted a small opus of the symphonic efforts of Phillip Morris to track down and hunt perpetrators of the billion dollar cigarette industry. It is merely a featherweight bout among all the large-scale legal battles that the company has been involved against importers of counterfeit cigarettes.
Cigarette and Tobacco Producers and Lawsuits
Phillip Morris USA has filed a minimum of twenty-five other cases in states ranging from California to New York in the last four years alone. Tobacco litigation involves various cigarette manufacturers defending against claims of wrongful death, medical expenses and emotional injury.
Lawsuits have been introduced by government officials and by individuals from the general public alike—a legal surge that probably rose after Richard Doll’s study linking smoking to pulmonary defects.
Damages Involved with Cigarette and Tobacco Producers
Punitive damages have always accounted for the millions awarded to the plaintiffs when litigations are successful. Most of the verdicts though, however despising for the victims’ families and friends, are made in favor of the tobacco giants that can be analogous to middle-school bullies gaining the edge over the so-called bookworm.
That is exactly the reason for the increasing need for health programs and promotions on wellness issues surrounding the cigarette-smoking habits that have blanketed the entire world over.
The number of lawsuits filed against Phillip Morris are incomparable to the pile of legal actions the company pursued against counterfeiters, so a greater force that counteracts tobacco companies’ defensive nature may need to exist.