NEW YORK (CN) – The 2nd Circuit decertified an $800 billion class action accusing cigarette makers of duping smokers into believing “light” cigarettes are healthier than “full-flavored” cigarettes.
A three-judge panel concluded that the plaintiff smokers should pursue their fraud claims individually, not as a class, to show that they chose light cigarettes based on their alleged health benefits.
To pursue fraud claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, each plaintiff must prove reliance, injury and damages.
Further, the court said some plaintiffs’ claims are time-barred.
Smokers claimed the light cigarettes turned out to be as bad as – if not worse than – regular cigarettes for their health.
Defendants include American Tobacco Co., Altria Group, Philip Morris USA, Lorillard Tobacco, British American Tobacco Limited, Liggett Group, B.A.T. Industries PLC and R.J. Reynolds.