CEI Daily Update

Issues in the News


The Supreme Court rejects an appeal by tobacco companies in a class action lawsuit brought by smokers.   

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Special Projects Counsel Hans Bader on the impact of the decision:


 “The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the Engle case, in which the Florida Supreme Court threw out a $145 billion class-action punitive damages award against the big tobacco companies, but upheld multimillion-dollar compensatory damage awards to individual smokers. In its Engle decision, the Florida courts held that Florida’s 1997 settlement did not bar punitive damages claims against the tobacco companies. By contrast, the Georgia Supreme Court and New York federal district judge Charles Brieant have ruled that the 1998 multi-state tobacco Master Settlement Agreement bars punitive damage claims by smokers against the tobacco companies..”



National security experts and environmentalists join together over concerns about global warming.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Iain Murray on why it’s time for a green divorce:


“These policy packages may appear to focus on security, but they are designed to promote the environmentalists’ goals first and foremost. A genuine national-security energy policy would look for ways to reduce oil imports from terrorist-supporting states without comprehensively altering the American way of life or reducing our economic competitiveness with our rivals. The National Commission on Energy Policy plan purports to do this, but does not.”



Florida Governor Charlie Crist attacks private insurance companies and praises the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Eli Lehrer on the financial threat to taxpayers from Crist’s insurance policies:

“Consider the facts. In the wake of Crist’s reforms, the quasi-governmental Citizens Property Insurance Corp. – now the state’s largest insurer – covers more than 75,000 properties facing “high risk” from hurricane winds in Broward County. In Pinellas County, Citizens has written only about 16,000 such policies. Citizens also writes more than 90,000 such policies in Miami-Dade and almost 65,000 in Palm Beach County. To make things worse, the state Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, which backs Citizens and all major private insurers with reinsurance – essentially, insurance for insurance companies – already has the authority to cover $28-billion in damages in the wake of a big storm.”


Blog feature: For more news and analysis, updated throughout the day, visit CEI’s blog, Open Market.



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