May 25 A federal judge ordered United Parcel
Service Inc to pay nearly $247 million in damages and
penalties for "illegally shipping" large volumes of untaxed
cigarettes in New York state and City, a court filing showed on
UPS said it was extremely disappointed with the court's
ruling and would appeal the decision.
"The court's monetary award is excessive and far out of the
bounds of constitutional limits, particularly given that the
shipments at issue generated around $1 million in revenue," UPS
said in an emailed statement.
The ruling by District Judge Katherine Forrest of Manhattan
justified the amount saying the court was convinced "modest
penalties" will not make a "sufficient corporate impact" on UPS.
In total, New York state is awarded $165.8 million and
plaintiff New York City is awarded $81.2 million.
The parties had to file certain required information to the
court before April 7 in which UPS' court submissions showed a
"lack of cooperation" and "odd abrasiveness," according to the
The ruling said the court was "troubled" by the UPS'
"consistent unwillingness to acknowledge its errors".
The federal judge in March held UPS liable for having
illegally shipped hundreds of thousands of cartons of untaxed
cigarettes in New York, depriving the state and New York City of
millions of dollars of taxes.
Judge Forrest then said the state and city were entitled to
compensatory damages and fines, and that UPS' "high degree of
culpability" meant "significant penalties" were appropriate.
The state and city had sought more than $872 million.
"We are pleased that the award of nearly $247 million to the
city and state reflects the serious nature of the offenses at
issue. Cigarette smoking is a leading cause of preventable death
and the city and the state will continue in their efforts to
protect the public health," said New York City Corporation
Counsel Zachary Carter.
UPS was accused of having shipped since 2010 more than
683,000 cartons of untaxed "contraband" cigarettes to unlicensed
wholesalers, unlicensed retailers and residences, often from
smoke shops on Indian reservations.
The case is the State Of New York and the City Of New York v
United Parcel Service Inc, U.S. District Court for the Southerrn
District of New York, Case 1:15-cv-01136-KBF.
(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru;
Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)