|Jump to full article: Bloomberg News, 2002-12-05|
Author: Joyzelle Davis
Philip Morris Cos. and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. must face a wrongful death suit from a smoker who blames cigarettes for his wife's death and his own illnesses, a California appeals court said.
The California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles reinstated Donald Souders's cigarette liability lawsuit, marking one of the first resurrections of a smoker suit since the state high court in August limited tobacco companies' liability for their conduct from 1988 to 1998.
More than 65 suits by smokers are pending in California courts. Several of those suits were on hold in the appeals courts awaiting clarification from the state Supreme Court on the scope of the cigarette makers' immunity. The decision means more suits are likely to go to trial in a state where juries have handed down four multimillion-dollar verdicts in tobacco cases.
Jump to full article »
Quotes from this article:
Because the Souders' personal injury and wrongful death causes of action allege conduct by Philip Morris and B&W that occurred prior to January 1, 1988, we reverse the judgment of dismissal.
Justice Dennis Perluss in an opinion for a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles.