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Public Citizen v. Liggett Group

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
858 F.2d 775 (1988)


Facts

The family of a smoker sued Liggett Group (Liggett) (defendant) for wrongful death in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts under its diversity jurisdiction. Despite the family’s opposition, the district court entered a protective order forbidding dissemination of any materials produced by Liggett during discovery. The court entered final judgment in favor of Liggett on the ground that federal law governing cigarette warning labels preempted the claim, which was based on a claim that Liggett’s warning was inadequate. Public Citizen (Public) (plaintiff) intervened in the case as representative of several public health organizations and requested modification of the protective order. The court agreed to modify the order, and Liggett appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Bownes, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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