Judge Orders New York State to Pay Vapor Group’s Attorney Fees

A judge says the state of New York state will now have to reimburse the Vapor Technology Association’s (VTA) attorney fees after the state attempted to ban flavored vaping products last year.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Catherine Cholakis said wednesday that she agreed that state officials overreached their authority and thus should cover the legal costs associated with fighting the ban.

Several vape shops and the VTA are seeking about $381,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs from the state. Cholakis noted an evidentiary hearing will be set to determine if the amount is accurate, court records show, according to The Journal News.

In the order, Cholakis noted the state Attorney General’s Office lawyers representing New York made a compelling case that the emergency ban “was in response to the serious problems of underage vaping and pulmonary illnesses traced to vaping.”

But in explaining why the state must cover the group’s attorneys fees, she added: “There can be no denying the seriousness of the health issues surrounding vaping. Concern for those issues, however, cannot excuse clearly unconstitutional action.”

Cholakis, however, questioned the amount of money sought by the vaping groups.

New York state’s lawyers “bristle, though, at the amount of costs and fees sought by (the vaping group),” she wrote.

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