Tobacco Industry Expert Opines On Distribution Dispute

    Restraining Order Expert

    This case involves a commercial dispute between a distributor of cigars and an entrepreneur attempting to enter the market. The defendant entrepreneur purchased a large number of cigars at an alcohol, tobacco, and firearms auction. The defendant attempted to sell the cigars until he was discovered by the cigars brand’s distributor. The distributor issued the defendant entrepreneur a temporary restraining order. The defendant alleged that the cigars being sold under the cigar distributor were materially different, citing that the distributor’s policies which dictate that cigars are sold no later than 2 years after the tobacco has been harvested. The defendant alleged that the cigars he sold were 4 years old and that the moisture loss secondary to storage caused the older cigars to be brittle and change the color of the paper. An expert with experience in cigar production was sought to address the shelf life and storage requirements of cigars and determine if the products were, in fact, materially different.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please briefly describe your work with tobacco products.
    • 2. Could you help to determine if the products referenced were materially different, based upon the extent of likely water loss in storage?

    Expert Witness Response E-088316

    I have been in the tobacco business since 1965 and presently work for a large tobacco group that produces cigarettes all over Africa.  I also teach a course on the subject of tobacco production. I have been doing consulting work since 2009 with various companies and have consulted tobacco companies on doing blend transitions. A lot of my work involves a lot of hands-on work and smoking evaluation. I can also take cigarettes apart and determine blend composition, etc.

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