A Federal Judge from the District Court in Washington D.C. has finally set a date of October 19, 2016 for the landmark lawsuit filed by Nicopure Labs against the legality of the FDA e-cig regulations. Judge Amy Berman Jackson also demanded that the legal action filed by the Tampa-based retailer be joined by another lawsuit filed just last month by eleven vaping advocacy groups, including the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA),NOTBlowingSmoke.org, and The Shenzhen E-Vapor Industry Association USA (SEVIA-USA).
While several other lawsuits with similar allegations against the FDA have also been filed throughout the country, Judge Jackson wants to consolidate these two cases because they were filed in the same Federal Court. Rather than hearing two cases at different times, Jackson appears to be trying to streamline the judicial process and perhaps save the taxpayers a bit of time and money. If the FDA does not respond to Jackson’s demands for consolidation by August 16, then the October court date stands.
NICOPURE LABS JOINS ELEVEN VAPING ADVOCACY GROUPS FOR CONSOLIDATED LAWSUIT
Another case filed by Lost Arts Liquids over the FDA e-cig regulations will not be included in the newly consolidated lawsuit because it was originally filed in the Central District of California, which is not in Jackson’s jurisdiction. But because the Nicopure-combined case takes place in federal court rather than state court, most political pundits agree that its outcome could set a legal precedent that will significantly influence all future court decisions, state or federal, for years to come. In short, a lot is riding on this one. Among the many points of argument include the following:
(Related Article: NICOPURE MAKES HISTORY; FILES FIRST LAWSUIT OVER FDA E-CIG REGULATIONS)
Does the FDA have the authority to institute a backdated predicated date of February 15, 2007 on all e-cig and vaping merchandise?
Does the FDA have the authority to require e-cig and vaping retailers to undergo the million-dollar Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) process that is typically reserved for traditional cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products?
Does the FDA have the authority to regulate e-cigs as “tobacco products” when they are 100% tobacco-free?
Does the FDA have the authority to essentially tax an entire industry out of business?
Is a federal ban on free e-juice samples legally constitutional?
Strangely, within hours of the Jackson announcement, several Cigar Associations banded together to file another lawsuit in the same Federal Court making very similar claims against the FDA. The Cigar Rights of America, the Cigar Association of America, and the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association filed for a declaratory injunction to “vacate, set aside and enjoin the enforcement of the final (FDA e-cig regulations).” It looks like Judge Amy Berman Jackson is going to be a major player in the War on Vaping.