The lawsuit between three cigar trades and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has been delayed by 30 days.
A motion followed by attorneys on both sides was approved by U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta that will delay all further dates in the lawsuit by 30 days. However, the motion does not come with any agreement to delay deadlines for further FDA deeming regulation compliance dates.
It’s a change of course from April, when a three-month delay was granted alongside a three-month delay for all future deeming regulation compliance dates as part of an agreement between FDA and the plaintiffs: the Cigar Association of America (CAA), Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR).
The reason behind the lack of extension on the compliance dates is likely due to the fact that this time it was the cigar trade groups, not FDA asking for a delay.
Given last week’s announcement that FDA would delay the substantial equivalence deadline from May 2018 to August 2021, the trade groups argued a delay was needed so they could examine what effect the delay has on the lawsuit.
It’s almost certain that oral arguments, the main trial part of the court proceeds, won’t take place in 2017. The 30-delay would push back the earliest trial date until Dec. 30, a Saturday.