November 12, 2001 |
Will the tobacco industry face a tsunami of lawsuits in California, and the risk of billions of dollars in liability? Or will high court rulings eliminate the threat, making the hostility of jurors irrelevant? Three consecutive mega-verdicts against cigarette makers have put California in the forefront of the legal war over smoking. The first of them--a $26.5-million damages award against Philip Morris Inc.
October 6, 2001 |
A federal jury in Ohio rejected the claims for damages sought by the wife of a former smoker who died in 1996, four years after he contracted lung cancer. The jury ruled unanimously against Jocelyn Tompkin in a lawsuit that alleged that her husband, David, had developed lung cancer while using cigarettes produced by various tobacco companies from 1950 to 1965, according to a court clerk.
October 5, 2001 |
Two men have admitted to trying to sell the plaintiffs' trial strategy plans to tobacco industry lawyers in a high-stakes case, federal prosecutors said. Said Farraj, 28, a former paralegal at the New York office of Orrick, Harrington & Sutcliffe, and his brother Yeazid, 25, pleaded guilty to the scheme in separate federal court appearances, they said.
October 2, 2001 |
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to revive a lawsuit against the tobacco industry by Washington state public hospitals that sought to recoup the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses. The justices, without comment, let stand a lower court decision dismissing the antitrust and racketeering case against Philip Morris Cos., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and other companies. The U.S.
September 18, 2001 |
Regular cigarettes and those touted as "light" are essentially the same, and low-tar cigarettes are no safer than any other kind, a witness who has studied smoking for decades testified. Jack Henningfield, a consultant from Bethesda, Md., was the first witness to struggle within the confines of a carefully constructed class-action case in which about 250,000 healthy West Virginia smokers are suing the tobacco industry for an unprecedented medical monitoring program.
September 11, 2001 |
An appeals court denied a request Monday for damages by the widow of a three-pack-a-day smoker, ruling that it was the state-owned tobacco company's job to make money for the government. The company, Seita, "was not unaware of the correlation between smoking and the risk of cancer, notably of the lungs," the court said. But it said Seita's status as a state-run company did not permit it to "make this information known to the public."