Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Article in today's New York times -- Tobacco Makers Lose Key Ruling on Latest Suits, by David Cay Johnston and Melanie Warner:
In a legal blow to the tobacco industry, a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled yesterday
that people who smoked light cigarettes that were often promoted as a safer alternative
to regular cigarettes can press their fraud claim as a class-action suit.
Judge Jack B. Weinstein of Federal District Court in Brooklyn found “substantial evidence”
that the manufacturers knew that light cigarettes were at least as dangerous as regular
The decision, coming at a time when the tobacco industry felt it was on a legal winning
streak, raises the possibility that so-called lights cases will become a major threat to the
companies and expose them to potentially significant damages.