The Republic of the Marshall Islands sued a number of tobacco companies for the health care costs of treating residents with smoking-related illnesses. The government alleged that the tobacco companies misrepresented the health risks of smoking and, as a result, many residents became addicted to smoking and developed lung cancer and other diseases. The court affirmed an earlier dismissal of the case, finding that the government did not present sufficient evidence to show that any misconduct by the tobacco companies led to medical costs paid by the government. Additionally, the court found that the government failed to provide sufficient proof of both the existence of and the amount of damages.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands filed a complaint seeking damages and injunctive relief against eighteen different tobacco holding companies and manufacturers. The plaintiff specifically alleged that the defendants had a constitutional obligation to pay for the past and future medical expenses of its citizens who suffered harm as a result of using the defendants' tobacco products. The defendant companies sought dismissal of the case on technical jurisdictional grounds. The High Court granted the dismissals for those defendants considered "holding companies" and "unaffiliated" defendants, but it denied the motion of the "manufacturers" to dismiss the case.