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Sher Tremonte Files Second Circuit Amicus Brief on Behalf of Public Health Advocacy Groups

On Wednesday, February 28, 2018, Sher Tremonte LLP filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of six of the nation’s leading public health advocacy groups, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (the lead amicus), the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network American, the American Lung Association, New York State American Academy of Pediatrics, Chapters 2 & 3, the Public Health Law Center at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and Truth Initiative Foundation.

The amicus brief was filed in State of New York v. United Parcel Service, Inc., in support of plaintiffs and appellees, i.e. the State and City of New York, who were awarded, among other remedies, a total of $157.1 million in statutory civil penalties against the nation’s leading courier for violating various state and federal tobacco-control laws in transporting and delivering unstamped cigarettes (i.e., cigarettes that evade taxes). On appeal, the defendant is challenging the penalty award, including the statutory penalties, as excessive.

In its amicus brief, Sher Tremonte argues that the statutory penalties assessed are proportional and constitutionally permissible in light of the devastating nature and scope of the smoking epidemic and the vital public health interest in reducing smoking through cigarette taxation.

The amicus brief was authored by partner Kimo S. Peluso and associate Heather Y. Han with substantial contributions from Dennis Henigan and Mark Greenwold of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.