Tuesday, April 24, 2007
NY Appellate Tobacco Statute-of-Limitations Decision
As noted by Michael Kraus at Point of Law, interesting article on law.com -- N.Y. Court Refuses to Revive Smoking Suit Filed Years After Limitations Period, by Joel Stashenko. Here's an excerpt:
A man who started smoking when he was 9 and did not quit until he underwent throat cancer surgery 30 years later is time barred from suing cigarette companies for his disease, a New York Appellate Division, 3rd Department, panel has ruled.
A four-justice panel denied Warren Robare's attempt to invoke the doctrine of equitable estoppel to prevent the defendant tobacco companies from successfully asserting the three-year statute of limitations as a defense. Citing Putter v. North Shore Univ. Hosp., 7 NY3d 553-554 (2006), the court said Robare had "timely awareness" of his cancer and its possible link to cigarettes since, at the latest, May 1991.
"The record establishes that plaintiff quit smoking on May 13, 1991, the day of his throat surgery, because he realized he was addicted to cigarettes and he knew they were generally harmful to his health," Justice Carl J. Mugglin wrote for the court.