May 25, 2000 |
Tobacco companies Brown & Williamson and Lorillard have acknowledged smoking's link to health problems, leaving industry leader Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds on the other side of an issue that once united a monolithic industry. Liggett in 1997 was the first to break ranks and acknowledge the connection. The splintered positions were offered in opening statements this week by tobacco attorneys trying to avoid a multibillion-dollar award to 300,000 to 500,000 Florida smokers.
May 15, 2000 |
A Florida jury that already found tobacco companies conspired to sell a dangerous product will begin this week to consider a possible punitive penalty. Anti-smoking activists are looking for a day of reckoning for an industry that has yet to pay a penny to smokers who went to trial.
April 9, 2000
Former Judge Robert Bork says "Court Movies Don't Mimic Life" (Commentary, April 5). Well, neither does his article. Bork must not know many plaintiffs' lawyers if he can show such an incredible bias against them. How can he get away with such a sweeping generality? Maybe he has not had professional contact with plaintiffs' lawyers. (Bork's background is as a professor and a judge, so I bet any personal contact with lawyers for the "little people" was rare. He probably has underlings do that.
February 1, 2000 |
Toshiba Corp. won a federal judge's approval for a $2.1-billion settlement of a lawsuit that alleged the world's largest notebook computer maker intentionally sold machines with faulty floppy disk controllers. It's one of the largest product liability settlements in U.S. history and the biggest in the high-technology industry, expert witnesses in the case said.
December 22, 1999 |
A Mississippi jury awarded $150 million in actual damages to five people who claimed their health problems could be traced to the controversial diet drug cocktail known as fen-phen. The jury verdict against American Home Products Inc. could kill its planned merger with Warner-Lambert Co., which has received a higher bid from Pfizer Inc. Jurors were still determining punitive damages late Tuesday. The trial, which began last month in Fayette, Miss.
August 26, 1999 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's No. 1 retailer, must pay $1 million to a former Virginia middle school principal hurt when a newly installed tire fell off a moving vehicle in 1995, an appeals panel ruled. Zed French III suffered serious back injuries in a crash on Interstate 64 six days after new tires were installed on a friend's Jeep at a Wal-Mart Sam's Club store in Charlottesville, Va., according to an opinion by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.
March 9, 1999 |
The National Rifle Assn., mounting a counterattack against U.S. cities seeking to recover millions of dollars in damages from gun violence, has helped draft legislation in 14 states and Congress to bar cities and states from suing firearm manufacturers. NRA supporters in three more states plan to introduce similar bills when their legislatures convene.
December 20, 1998
Thank goodness there is still a modicum of common sense existing in California ["Beretta Wins Case Brought by Parents Who Sued Over Death," Nov. 17]. The idea that this suit would even get to court defies reason, but at least the jury had sense enough to realize that a loaded gun, when pointed at another person and the trigger pulled, is not a "defective product" when it fires. Lawsuits of this type are the desperate, last-ditch efforts of anti-2nd Amendment groups attempting to deny citizens the right to self-protection.
December 16, 1998 |
Owens Corning, maker of insulation and other building materials, said it will pay $1.2 billion to settle asbestos-related lawsuits in a bid to end one of the biggest product liability cases in U.S. history. The company, which stopped selling asbestos products in 1972, said it expects to make most of the payments during the next two years to resolve about 90% of 176,000 cases pending against it. The plan will also help resolve new claims without litigation, it said.
December 11, 1998 |
The U.S. tobacco industry was slammed by a widening foreign legal assault Thursday as the Republic of Nicaragua filed a large damage suit and Brazil threatened such action to recover costs for treating smoking-related illnesses. Nicaragua's suit follows ones filed in U.S. courts in recent months by Guatemala and Panama. The suits are patterned after those filed throughout the U.S. by state attorneys general that led to a massive settlement in November.