Cigarette Litigation Essay

Cigarette Litigation Essay

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Cigarette Litigation

In August 1970 a leading tobacco defense attorney, David R. Hardy, wrote a confidential letter warning that indiscreet comments by industry scientists, including references to biologically active components of cigarette smoke and the search for a safer cigarette, constitute a real threat to the continued success in the defense of smoking and health litigation. The actual knowledge on the part of the defendant that smoking is generally dangerous to health, that certain ingredients are dangerous to health and should be removed, or that smoking causes a particular disease. This would not only be evidence that would substantially prove a case against the defendant company for compensatory damages, but could be considered as evidence of willfulness or recklessness sufficient to support a claim for punitive damages.
As the evidence about the health hazards of smoking accumulated, and especially after the 1964 surgeon general's report, liability protection. The cigarette companies continued to aim propaganda about the smoking and health controversy at the general public. The Cigarette Papers describes plans in 1969 for a public relations campaign intended to set aside in the minds of millions the false conviction that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases. As late as 1985, R.J. Reynolds ran misleading ads suggesting that a large epidemiological study had not found evidence of a link between smoking and heart disease.
The tobacco companies have always feared that one successful suit would lead to a flood of litigation, sweeping the industry away. Nowadays that fear seems more realistic than ever, given the hundreds of pending state lawsuits, secondhand smoke claims, class actions, and cases filed by individual smokers.
The case started when two small-town Mississippi lawyers declared war on Tobacco Companies and skillfully pursued a daring new litigation strategy that ultimately brought the industry to the negotiating table. For forty years tobacco companies had won every lawsuit brought against them and never paid out a dime. In 1997 that all changed. The industry agreed to a historic deal to pay $368 billion in health-related damages and tear down billboard advertisements.
Mississippi's Attorney General Mike Moore joined forces with his classmate attorney Dick Scruggs and sued tobacco companies on behalf of the state's t...


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...ials01.htm
Lawyers in Early Tobacco Suits to Get $8 Billion:
http://nytimes.qpass.com/qpass-archives/fastweb?QProd=19&QIID=1998arcDOC109434&NYTID=&Srch=state_id=1+view=!view!+docid=!doc!+docdb=1998arc+dbname=!db!+TemplateName=doc.tmpl
Companies' Cost Would Be Great, But So Is Their Outlook for Profit: http://nytimes.qpass.com/qpassarchives/fastweb?QProd=19&QIID=1997arcDOC47100&NYTID=&Srch=state_id=1+view=!view!+docid=!doc!+docdb=1997arc+dbname=!db!+TemplateName=doc.tmpl
Philip Morris Admits Evidence Shows Smoking Causes Cancer:
http://nytimes.qpass.com/qpass-archives/fastweb?QProd=19&QIID=1999arcDOC84540&NYTID=&Srch=state_id=1+view=!view!+docid=!doc!+docdb=1999arc+dbname=!db!+TemplateName=doc.tmpl
Senate Approves Limiting Fees Lawyers Get in Tobacco Cases:
New York Raising Tax on Cigarettes To Help Uninsured: http://nytimes.qpass.com/qpass-archives/fastweb?QProd=19&QIID=1999arcDOC104461&NYTID=&Srch=state_id=1+view=!view!+docid=!doc!+docdb=1999arc+dbname=!db!+TemplateName=doc.tmpl
Inside The Tobacco Deal:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/settlement/etc/synopsis.html
Actual Knowledge:
http://reason.com/9612/bk.jacob.shtml

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