Cigarette smokers lose unjust enrichment class action against Philip Morris

September 9, 2011 by

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of a class action lawsuit filed against Philip Morris, Incorporated (“Philip Morris”) and several other tobacco companies and tobacco-related entities (“defendants”) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  (The case is entitled Brian Cleary et al v. Phillip Morris Incorporated et al, Class Action Case No. 09-CV-1596).  The suit was brought on behalf of Illinois residents who bought or smoked cigarettes.  The complaint alleged that for years the tobacco companies conspired to conceal the facts about the addictive and dangerous nature of cigarettes by intentionally using incomplete, misleading, or untruthful marketing and advertising.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s holding in the Philip Morris Tobacco smoke class action lawsuit that the unjust enrichment claim, as alleged by the plaintiffs, was not viable since a violation of the consumer’s legal right to know about a product’s risks, without anything more, cannot support an unjust enrichment claim against the product’s manufacturer.

Steve Larson
An experienced trial lawyer who handles both hourly and contingent fee cases, Steve has expertise in class actions, consumer cases, antitrust litigation, securities litigation, corporate disputes, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition claims, employment matters, and disputes involving family wealth. Steve regularly represents individuals and businesses in federal and state court and has obtained class-wide recovery in multiple class actions. A veteran practitioner, Steve's clients value his creative approach to resolving complex litigation matters.

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