Jury Selection begins Jan 22, 2007
Parties hearings Oct. 30 and Nov. 29, 2006
May extend class to encompass smokers of ALL low-tar brands rather than “lights” alone.
Collateral Estoppel will not apply.
540-page decision, 998-page appendix of relevant parts of Kessler decision and her appendixes.
Docket #1006 reads:
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: certification of class granted; summary judgment denied; orders for pretrial and trial. Ordered by Judge Jack B. Weinstein, on 9/25/2006. (Barrett, C.) (Entered: 09/25/2006)
From the Judgement:
Jury selection is set for January 22, 2007, with trial to begin immediately thereafter. The parties, magistrate judge, and court shall meet on October 30, 2006 and November 29, 2006 to address in limine motions, details of notice, and other class action matters. The parties shall meet before then to attempt to agree insofar as they can. Proposed jury questionnaires, voir dire, and verdict sheets shall be submitted by October 27, 2006. The parties shall also brief and be prepared to argue the issue of assessment of damages. See Part IX.C, supra. If the parties cannot arrange for a briefing schedule, the magistrate judge is respectfully requested to do so, adjusting trial and reporting dates if necessary.
The class is certified as follows:
All United States residents who purchased in the United States, not for resale, cigarettes labeled as “Lights” and/or “Light” (collectively “light cigarettes”) that were manufactured and/or sold by Defendants during the period commencing on the first date that Defendants began selling light cigarettes until the date trial commences (the “Class Period”), and who are not, as of the date of trial, members of a certified state class seeking economic damages stemming from their purchases of light cigarettes or having obtained an award of, or a denial of, such damages. Excluded from the Class are individuals who are directors and officers of the Defendants’ corporations, their parents, subsidiaries and/or affiliates.
At or before the October 30 meeting, plaintiffs must inform the court and defendants if they intend to amend their pleadings to seek damages up to the time of trial instead of, as is now the case, up to the time of filing the complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a) (amendments permitted “by leave of court”). After trial has begun, amendments to conform to the evidence, id. 15(b); relation back of amendments, id., 15(c); and supplemental pleadings, id., 15(d), will be strongly discouraged. Nevertheless, subject to notice requirements, the court will entertain a motion to extend the class to, for example, encompass smokers of all “low tar” brands rather than “lights” alone, if that would assist the parties in negotiating a global settlement of all excess price claims. Defendants’ motion to dismiss claims for equitable relief is granted. All other motions for summary judgment are denied.
No interlocutory appeal is certified. No stay is imposed.