Federal appeals court says DOJ can’t seek $280 billion from tobacco industry

Federal appeals court says DOJ can’t seek $280 billion from tobacco industry

[JURIST] The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [official website] has ruled that federal law does not permit the goverment to seek a $280 billion penalty in its racketeering case against the tobacco industry. In its opinion [PDF text], the court wrote:

A group of cigarette manufacturers and related entities (“Appellants”) appeal from a decision of the District Court denying summary judgment as to the Government’s claim for disgorgement under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO” or “the Act”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-68. The relevant section of RICO, 18 U.S.C. § 1964(a), provides the District Courts jurisdiction only for forward-looking remedies that prevent and restrain violations of the Act. Because disgorgement, a remedy aimed at past violations, does not so prevent or restrain, we reverse the decision below and grant partial summary judgment for the Appellants.

AP has more. Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase