Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 505 U.S. 504 (1992)

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CIPOLLONE, individually and as executor of the ESTATE OF CIPOLLONE v. LIGGETT GROUP, INC., et al.

certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the third circuit

No. 90-1038. Argued October 8, 1991—Reargued January 13, 1992— Decided June 24, 1992

Section 4 of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (1965 Act) required a conspicuous label warning of smoking's health hazards to be placed on every package of cigarettes sold in this country, while 5 of that Act, captioned "Preemption," provided: "(a) No statement relating to smoking and health, other than the [ 4] statement . . . , shall be required on any cigarette package," and "(b) No [such] statement . . . shall be required in the advertising of any cigarettes the packages of which are labeled in conformity with" 4. Section 5(b) was amended by the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 (1969 Act) to specify: "No requirement or prohibition based on smoking and health shall be imposed under State law with respect to the advertising or promotion of any cigarettes the packages of which are [lawfully] labeled." Petitioner's complaint in his action for damages invoked the District Court's diversity jurisdiction and alleged, inter alia, that respondent cigarette manufacturers were responsible for the 1984 death of his mother, a smoker since 1942, because they breached express warranties contained in their advertising, failed to warn consumers about smoking's hazards, fraudulently misrepresented those hazards to consumers, and conspired to deprive the public of medical and scientific information about smoking, all in derogation of duties created by New Jersey law. The District Court ultimately ruled, among other things, that these claims were preempted by the 1965 and 1969 Acts to the extent that the claims relied on respondents' advertising, promotional, and public relations activities after the effective date of the 1965 Act. The Court of Appeals affirmed on this point.

Held: The judgment is reversed in part and affirmed in part, and the case is remanded.

893 F. 2d 541, reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded.

Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II, III, and IV, concluding that 5 of the 1965 Act did not pre-

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