ESSENTIAL ACTION & PARTNERS' AMICUS BRIEF
IN U.S. DOJ RICO CASE AGAINST TOBACCO INDUSTRY
In the case, the government alleges that the tobacco industry has engaged in a five-decade-long conspiracy to defraud the American people. If the judge finds the defendants to have violated the law, then she will issue a ruling on remedies -- requirements imposed on the defendants to prevent them from engaging in future fraudulent activity.
The framework of the case requires that arguments about remedies be justified in terms of the impact in the United States. Although it may be possible in the future to bring a case in the United States under the same law related to the impact of the industry's activities outside of the United States, this is not that case. Still, remedies applies in an international context with the intent to benefit the United States would certainly have benefits in other countries.
The brief from Essential Action and our partners argues that because the tobacco industry is globalized, U.S. tobacco control efforts must take into account the international operations of the tobacco industry in order to be effective in the United States. We urge that a number of the remedies proposed by the government therefore apply internationally, and to the foreign affiliates of the defendants with international operations, Philip Morris/Altria and BAT. We also recommend some remedies not proposed by the government, and argue that they too should apply internationally and to the foreign subsidiaries.
Among our recommendations:
for leave to file amicus brief
motion arguing that our brief should be rejected
to the industry's motion
order that our brief, and others amicus filings, will be accepted for
A number of U.S. public health groups have obtained "intervenor" status in the case, which means they are effectively parties with regard to the determination of remedies. The intervenor brief and related materials adopted and incorporated many of the proposals that we made. Those materials are at: www.tobaccofreekids.org/reports/doj/
The U.S. government has posted many key documents in the case, including their proposed remedies, on their web page. Also on the web page is the written testimony of the government's witnesses, and a 2500-page "proposed findings of fact," which is an excellent presentation of much of the industry's wrongdoing over the last 50 years. This material is available at: www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/tobacco2/
Finally, Gene Borio and colleagues have been maintaining a blog on the trial. It has commentary on the day-by-day testimony, plus contains lots of the key filings in the case. It is at: www.tobacco-on-trial.com/