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Secret tobacco testing alleged 

A whistle-blower testifying in a local trial says firms knew smoking was deadly.
Jump to full article: Sacramento (CA) Bee, 2002-11-23
Author: Ramon Coronado -- Bee Staff Writer


Tests linking cigarette smoking with cancer 20 years ago were secretly conducted in Europe and documents destroyed to eliminate a "paper trail," a former Philip Morris tobacco company executive testified in Sacramento Superior Court this week.

"The results of these tests were not to be available to lawsuits or the U.S. government," said William A. Farone, who had supervised 600 scientists in the tobacco company's research and development department.

Farone, who is a toxicologist, said the tests were done in Germany, but in order to conceal evidence of the cancer research his bosses in the tobacco company's New York City headquarters sent their test-related correspondence to "dummy addresses" in Switzerland.

After three days of testimony that concluded Friday, Farone has emerged as the key witness in the trial of a lawsuit filed by a dying Sacramento man who claims that Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco should be found liable for damages, including punitive damages. . .

Tobacco company lawyers describe Farone as a disgruntled employee who was fired for insubordination. They say he turned misfortune into a career as a professional witness against the tobacco companies. He is basking in the limelight of a rash of lawsuits now hitting courtrooms across the country, they say.

"He blurs and blends everything so well," Philip Morris' lawyer, Gerald V. Barron, told Judge Steven H. Rodda outside the presence of the jury in an attempt to be allowed to discredit the 62-year-old Farone.

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Quotes from this article:

He blurs and blends everything so well.
Philip Morris lawyer, Gerald V. Barron, to Lucier Judge Steven H. Rodda, in an attempt to be allowed to discredit the testimony of ex- Philip Morris executive William A. Farone.