Read a federal judge’s opinion in the government’s RICO litigation against the tobacco industry

In 2006, in the federal government's RICO litigation against major players in the tobacco industry, U.S. District Judge Glady Kessler issued an opinion containing over 4,000 findings of facts. She found that the government had shown by overwhelming evidence that the industry had maintained an unlawful racketeering enterprise and had lied about the health effects of tobacco. She ordered certain industry defendants to issue "corrective disclosures" about the dangers of tobacco. The corrective statements were to be made in various forms, such as in cigarette packaging, in media advertisements, and on company websites. The defendants' appeals to the D.C. Circuit have been almost entirely unsuccessful. Yet, through a series of procedural maneuvers, the industry still has not complied with Judge Kessler's remedial order.

Yesterday, Judge Kessler this opinion expressing her frustration with the defendants' stalling tactics, which she called "a waste of precious time, energy, and money for all concerned — and a loss of information for the public." She ordered the defendants to issue the corrective statements, which are set out verbatim on pages 4 to 6 of her opinion. 

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