Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc.

505 U.S. 504 (1992)

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Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
505 U.S. 504 (1992)

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Facts

In 1965, Congress enacted the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (the Labeling Act). The act required that all cigarette packaging have a warning label. The act also expressly preempted state law, forbidding states from mandating “any statement relating to smoking and health” on any cigarette package or in any cigarette advertising. In 1969, Congress amended the Labeling Act with the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act (the Smoking Act). This statute stated that “[n]o requirement or prohibition based on smoking and health shall be imposed under State law” relating to cigarette advertising. In 1942, Rose Cipollone (plaintiff) began smoking cigarettes manufactured by Liggett Group, Inc. (Liggett) (defendant). In 1981, Rose was diagnosed with lung cancer. Rose and her husband, Antonio Cipollone (plaintiff), sued Liggett in federal district court, alleging state tort claims for (1) failure to warn, (2) fraudulent misrepresentations minimizing smoking’s health hazards, (3) intentional fraudulent misstatements in advertising, (4) breach of express warranty, and (5) conspiracy to defraud. The Cipollones claimed that Liggett failed to warn consumers about smoking hazards and fraudulently misrepresented and concealed the dangers of smoking. Rose died during the lawsuit. The district court ruled that the Labeling Act preempted the Cipollones’ state-law claims to the extent the claims were based on labeling and advertising actions Liggett took after the Labeling Act’s effective date. A jury found Liggett liable for actions taken prior to the Labeling Act’s effective date. The jury denied damages to Rose’s estate because of her contributory negligence but awarded damages to Antonio. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the preemption rulings. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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