Court rekindles lawsuit over Camel cigarettes loyalty program

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 13, 2012 3:55 PM
Court rekindles lawsuit over Camel cigarettes loyalty program

By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A appeals court on Friday revived a potential class action lawsuit against Reynolds American Inc over the cancellation of its "Camel Cash" customer loyalty program.

Subsidiary R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company urged consumers to buy Camel cigarettes, save Camel Cash certificates included in the packs, enroll in the program and redeem the certificates for merchandise featured in RJR catalogs, according to the opinion.

RJR ceased redeeming the certificates in 2006, making the unredeemed Camel Cash worthless. Ten individuals who joined the program sued, and a lower court judge dismissed the case.

However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday revived the litigation, saying RJR must defend some claims including breach of contract. The 9th Circuit sent the case back to a federal court in Los Angeles for further proceedings.

An RJR representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

The case in the 9th Circuit is Amanda Sateriale et al., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, 11-55057.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; editing by Matthew Lewis)