Lawyers representing tobacco companies in the US are arguing that their clients should be allowed to sue their way to billions of dollars in fines.
The companies argue that they are entitled to the same protection as the US government in the wake of the Paris climate accord, which was signed in December.
US courts have repeatedly rejected their requests to overturn the law, but lawyers for tobacco companies argue they are being bullied into complying.
The lawsuits, filed in the Supreme Court, are seeking a nationwide injunction to force tobacco companies to make payments to people who have been harmed by their products.
They also want to stop the US Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing new regulations that could impose billions of new fines on the companies.
The lawsuit also argues that tobacco companies have not been given the same due process rights as the tobacco industry.
“There is no doubt that we have a right to know the truth about the harm that has been caused to the American people and that is a basic right,” said Michael Rifkin, one of the lead attorneys for the tobacco companies.
“The courts have told us that we are not in the position that we would be if we were not facing the threat of a fine,” Rifkins said. “
Tobacco companies are also calling on US officials to halt the implementation of the law that requires them to disclose their health claims. “
The courts have told us that we are not in the position that we would be if we were not facing the threat of a fine,” Rifkins said.
Tobacco companies are also calling on US officials to halt the implementation of the law that requires them to disclose their health claims.
The law, which has been criticised by many Americans, has been blamed for the deaths of thousands of people from tobacco-related diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.
US President Donald Trump has been a vocal opponent of the laws, calling it “bad for the economy” and “disgraceful”.
He has also argued that the law is unfair to tobacco companies, which have been able to dodge US taxes by claiming they are not responsible for pollution and other health impacts of smoking.
“If you look at the facts, the industry is paying tens of billions of American dollars a year in taxes to the US Treasury, and yet, when the US Government says that it cannot impose the fines, the tobacco company is going to continue to pay them,” Riffkin said.
The tobacco companies are hoping that US courts will stop the law and the US Justice Department from enforcing it.
In their suit, the companies say that the regulations have “exacerbated the threat to public health posed by the climate crisis” and have “created a perverse incentive for tobacco corporations to avoid paying the taxes required to implement them”.
In its response to the lawsuits, the US Department of Justice said that the rules are designed to “protect consumers and promote a climate-neutral economy”.