Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine v. General Mills
- Case Date: 9/2/2005
- Project Name: Criminalization of Free Enterprise - Business Civil Liberties Program
On June 19, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by animal rights activists who are seeking to stop advertisements being run by the milk industry. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief arguing that the suit threatened to undermine manufacturers' commercial speech rights. WLF argued that if a manufacturer can be subjected to expensive lawsuits filed by activists who do not like statements the manufacturer makes on issues of public importance, then significant amounts of truthful speech will be chilled as manufacturers become increasingly unwilling to comment on such issues. The appeals court agreed with WLF that Virginia law does not permit individuals to sue to enjoin commercial speech with which they disagree. The court held that if commercial speech is alleged to be fault, only government officials -- not private citizens -- may sue to prevent further speech.
More Information and Downloads:
4/4/2007: Download the Brief
9/2/2005: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Federal Court Dismisses Milk Suit Filed by Animal-Rights Activists