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Tobacco Industry Suits

BUSINESS
January 26, 2001 | MYRON LEVIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With jurors deadlocked 10-2 in favor of the tobacco industry, a federal judge in Brooklyn on Thursday declared a mistrial in the first big case to focus on the particularly lethal effects of smoking on workers exposed to asbestos. Despite the inconclusive result, the trial's outcome was favorable for tobacco companies and a blow to the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, which had sought to make tobacco firms pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to sick asbestos workers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 2001 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
State Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer will make a unique appearance in an Orange County courtroom today, battling county supervisors over a health-care initiative that voters approved overwhelmingly in November. The court fight over Measure H marks the first time Lockyer has personally handled a case since becoming attorney general, and it shows the significance he attaches to the Orange County case, his aides said.
BUSINESS
January 22, 2001 | Bloomberg News
A federal court jury in Brooklyn, N.Y., is expected to reach a verdict, possibly as soon as this week, in a $130-million tobacco suit brought against major cigarette companies by a Johns Manville trust. Lawyers for the trust argued during the trial that the tobacco industry should pay the fund because cigarette makers lied to asbestos workers whose smoking made them 50 times more likely to contract cancer than nonsmokers.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2001 | Bloomberg News
Philip Morris Cos. and other cigarette makers were not responsible for the cancer death of a Brooklyn, N.Y., woman who smoked for 32 years, a New York state court jury determined. The panel had previously decided that smoking caused the lung cancer that killed Bonnie Apostolou, who died in 1996 at the age of 45. But jurors concluded that she had "expressly assumed the risk" of smoking, and rejected all claims against the tobacco companies.
NEWS
January 7, 2001 | MARLENE CIMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Dr. David Kessler, architect of the Clinton administration's crusade to regulate cigarettes, says the only way to control the nation's addiction is to dismantle the tobacco industry in a way that allows it to continue to produce cigarettes--but not a profit.
BUSINESS
January 6, 2001 | From Bloomberg News
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. settled a lawsuit alleging it violated the $206-billion national tobacco accord by mailing free cigarettes to Californians, said state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer. The settlement, approved in San Diego Superior Court on Dec. 28 and announced Friday, lets R.J. Reynolds mail free cigarettes only to adults who have given their consent and after it verifies each recipient is an adult, Lockyer said.
BUSINESS
January 3, 2001 | Reuters
A U.S. District Court in South Carolina has denied class-action status for a lawsuit against cigarette manufacturers, marking the second such denial in a week. The case, known as Aksamit et al. vs. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. et al, was filed on behalf of South Carolina smokers who were allegedly injured as a result of smoking the defendant companies' cigarettes. In a decision Friday, U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 2000 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. has joined in the legal battle over Measure H, the bitterly fought initiative supported by 65% of the voters on Nov. 7 and over which Orange County has sued. The Jarvis group filed a friend-of-the-court brief Dec. 21 in Orange County Superior Court in support of Measure H, which mandates that most of $750 million in tobacco settlement funds the county will receive over the next quarter-century be spent on health care.
BUSINESS
December 28, 2000 | Associated Press
The chief executive of the nation's third-largest cigarette maker, testifying in a case brought by sick asbestos workers, rejected suggestions that Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. had ever targeted asbestos workers with cigarette advertising. In 1981, the company, maker of Kool and Lucky Strike and 18 other brands, dispatched workers to give away sample cigarettes outside locations where blue-collar workers might be found, but Chief Executive Nicholas G.
BUSINESS
December 21, 2000 | From Bloomberg News
Philip Morris Cos. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. asked a European court to declare that the European Commission lacked authority to file a lawsuit in U.S. courts alleging the company smuggled cigarettes into the European Union. The commission's suit, seeking unspecified financial damages, was filed Nov. 6 by in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y. It accused Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds of depriving the EU of customs duties in a smuggling operation that began in the late 1970s.
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