The lawsuit filed by three cigar industry trade groups against the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and its regulation of cigars has been pushed back.
Yesterday, Judge Amit P. Mehta granted a joint motion filed by both the trade groups and FDA that would delay the trial around a month. The two sides filed the motion after FDA requested the start be pushed back 60 days because much of FDA’s leadership staff is new because of the new presidential administration. That request was rejected by the plaintiffs—the Cigar Association of America (CAA), Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and the International Premium Cigar & Pipes Retailers Association (IPCPR)—but the two sides agreed to do the 30-day delay.
As such, the trial is now set to begin on Aug. 30, 2017. It was originally scheduled for July 28, 2017.
However, if FDA requests another delay, the three groups have stated they will not agree to the demand without FDA granting similar extensions for compliance of the new deeming regulations. FDA has already delayed some compliance deadlines, though it’s highly unlikely any of those delays were because of a lawsuit.
The second to last paragraph of the request for the delay spells out the trade groups demands:
Thus, while Plaintiffs have agreed to a 30-day extension to accommodate Defendants, they have informed Defendants that they will not consent to any further extension of the litigation deadlines without a day-for-day extension of compliance deadlines under the Final Rule.
Because of the 30-day extension, other dates surrounding the trial have been moved:
- Defendants’ opposition to Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and cross-motion for summary judgment shall be filed by: May 1, 2017
- Briefs of any amici granted leave to file in support of Defendants shall be filed by: May 8, 2017
- Plaintiffs’ reply in support of its motion for summary judgment and opposition to Defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment shall be filed by: June 14, 2017
- Defendants’ reply in support of their cross-motion for summary judgment shall be filed by: July 14, 2017
- Plaintiffs shall file the appendix of excerpts of the administrative record by: July 28, 2017
For a brief summary of the trade groups arguments against FDA, click here.
The motion for the extension is below.
For more information about FDA’s regulation of cigars, click here.