WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Legal Newsline) – A Washington consumer alleges that a brand of cigarettes is deceptively marketed as being natural and additive-free.
Clive Pontusson filed a complaint on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated on July 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Winston Salem Division against Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc., Reynolds American Inc., and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. alleging violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and unjust enrichment.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants use the terms "natural" and "additive-free" on labels of the Natural American Spirit cigarettes and that these labels perpetuate the false impression that they are a safer, healthier cigarette. He alleges that the product is not healthier or safer than other cigarettes.
The plaintiff holds Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc., Reynolds American Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. responsible because the defendants allegedly intentionally used untrue, deceptive and misleading practices and false representations in respect to National American Spirit cigarettes.
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against defendant certifying the complaint as a class action, requiring defendants pay for notifying the class of the pendency of this suit, award of injunctive relief, monetary damages in an amount to be determined at trial with prejudgment interest, statutory damages in the maximum amount provided by law.
He is represented by Joel R. Rhine of Rhine Law Firm PC in Wilmington, North Carolina; Scott P. Schlesinger, Jonathan R. Gdanski and Jeffrey L. Haberman of Schlesinger Law Offices PA in Fort Lauderdale, Florid; and Melissa Wolchansky and Amy E. Boyle of Halunen Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Winston Salem Division case number 1:18-cv-00594-LCB-LPA