SCOTUS Rules for Plaintiffs in “Light” Cigarette Case

The United States Supreme Court has ruled for the plaintiffs in a case involving an assertion of federal pre-emption in litigation involving whether selling "light" cigarettes was deceptive.

As pointed out in this article in the New York Times,

 "[t]he question before the court was not whether use of the term “light” amounted to fraud. It was, rather, whether plaintiffs should be allowed to sue at all given the federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, which required tobacco companies to place rotating warnings on their packaging and advertising."

The Court held that "[n]either the Labeling Act’s pre-emption provision nor the Federal Trade Commission’s actions in this field pre-empt respondent’s state fraud claim."

The case is Altria Group Inc. v. Good, No. 07-562.  Read the 5-member majority opinion written by Justice Stevens here.  The dissent authored by Justice Thomas begins on the 21st page of the PDF of the opinion.