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Court Denies Tobacco Giants' Motions to Dismiss Claims Alleging Explicit Age Discrimination and Retaliation
Date:2/27/2008

U.S. District Court Allows Claims Brought by Swiss-Based In-House Counsel To Proceed against Altria Group, Inc. and Phillip Morris International,

Inc.

NEW YORK, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Broach & Stulberg, LLP announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has denied motions to dismiss age discrimination and retaliation claims brought by a Swiss-based former in-house counsel against Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) and Philip Morris International, Inc. (collectively "Phillip Morris"). The motions sought to dismiss the claims on the ground that the U.S. court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the allegations brought under the U.S. Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA").

Applying a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling to a case claiming extra-territorial application of the federal age discrimination law, the District Judge ruled that "defendants have failed to raise a meritorious issue as to lack of subject matter jurisdiction" pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1).

The plaintiff, D'Arcy Quinn, a U.S. citizen, has alleged that his employer in Switzerland was an American corporation or an American-controlled corporation subject to the ADEA. In their motions, Altria and PMI both contended that the District Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Mr. Quinn's claims because he was employed by a "foreign" employer not subject to the ADEA. The District Court rejected the defendants' motions on the ground that the extra-territorial provisions of the ADEA do not restrict the Court's subject matter jurisdiction. In so holding, the Court relied upon the U.S. Supreme Court's 2006 decision
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SOURCE Broach & Stulberg, LLP
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