Products liability attorney Christine Craig secured important rights for New Hampshire consumers at the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Attorney Craig represented plaintiff consumers in a consumer protection claim against the United States Tobacco Company (UST) alleging that UST engaged in unfair and deceptive acts and unfair methods of competition in the sale of moist snuff tobacco products that allowed the company to make excessive profits while New Hampshire citizens paid inflated prices.
The Superior Court ruled that New Hampshire consumers were not entitled to protection under the Consumer Protection Act in this circumstance. Attorney Craig appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court and argued that New Hampshire consumers are entitled to the broad protections of the New Hampshire Consumer Protection Act whether they purchased products directly from a manufacturer or indirectly through a retailer. On August 24, 2007, the Supreme Court overturned the Superior Court decision and ruled that New Hampshire consumers were in fact entitled to protection under the Consumer Protection Act. This victory serves to protect the rights of New Hampshire citizens and deter the wrongful behavior of businesses which harms consumers.
Since this ground-breaking decision, the parties have entered into a settlement agreement which provides compensation to New Hampshire consumers who claim they were harmed by UST’s wrongful conduct. The settlement agreement has been preliminarily approved by the court and is scheduled for a final approval hearing in June 2008. Attorneys in other states have pursued similar consumer protection claims against UST. Significantly, this New Hampshire settlement provides the highest recovery per consumer of any settlement that has been approved to date.