U.S. tobacco company Altria’s NJOY dismissed a lawsuit filed by dozens of disposable vape manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in federal district court in California. However, the court did not dismiss the Elf. IMiracleBar manufacturer’s lawsuit.
According to vaping360 on Jan 23, NJOY, a unit of American tobacco company Altria, dismissed a lawsuit filed by dozens of disposable vape manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in a federal district court in California, but the court did not dismiss the lawsuit against IMiracle, the manufacturer of ELFBAR.
The lawsuit, filed in October, accuses the businesses of selling illegal goods in California and the United States and seeks a nationwide ban on the import and sale of the products, as well as compensatory and punitive damages from NJOY.
The companies accused include Breezee, ELFBAR, Esco Bar, Flum, Juice Box, Lava Plus, Loon, Lost Mary, Mr. Fog, and Puff in the US single-use vape market. Manufacturers and distributors of brands such as Bar together account for most of the share.
Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr., U.S. Court for the Central District of California, signed the dismissal order on Jan. 18. The court ruled that the defendants were not involved in “the same transaction, event or series of transactions or events” and were therefore wrongly included in the lawsuit. For this reason, Judge Hart removed all parties except the first defendant, IMiracle, from the lawsuit.
NJOY, once a pioneer in the standalone e-cigarette industry, is now the e-cigarette division of Altria, the maker of Marlboro tobacco in the United States. Last year, the tobacco company bought NJOY for $2.75 billion, after it dropped its bid for Juul. 35% of Labs. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sells two electronic cigarette devices (FDA) two of the six authorized devices.
The judge made these judgments “without prejudice to the rights of the plaintiffs,” which means that NJOY can again file lawsuits against the defendants who were removed, either individually or by a related panel. The court also denied NJOY’s claims of unfair competition and the need to issue a preliminary injunction against the defendant’s marketing and distribution.
Against Hong Kong-based ELFBAR manufacturer IMiracle, the court refused to email NJOY to legal provisions, noting that an established international procedure (The Hague Convention) would send legal notices to foreign defendants. As a next step, NJOY’s lawsuit against IMiracle remains valid and IMiracle will not be able to proceed with the lawsuit until officially notified by the court.