SI
SI
discoversearch

We've detected that you're using an ad content blocking browser plug-in or feature. Ads provide a critical source of revenue to the continued operation of Silicon Investor.  We ask that you disable ad blocking while on Silicon Investor in the best interests of our community.  For example, here is how to disable FireFox ad content blocking while on Silicon Investor.
Pastimes
TOBACCO COURT * NEW LEGAL DEFENSES & PUBLIC OPINION
An SI Board Since February 1999
Posts SubjectMarks Bans
32 4 0
Emcee:  Paul Berliner Type:  Unmoderated
On 2/10/99, a California jury awarded an ex-smoker's estate $2M and the Judge awarded $50M in punitive damages. This incredible decision has rocked the industry, as it represents the first time a Judge has ordered a tobacco company to pay punitive damages. Phillip Morris and its peers have had weak defenses ever since Ligget Co. 'ratted' out the industry last year. Maybe its time for the tobacco companies to enact a new defense that will persuade jurys to exonerate the industry from further actions. It is utterly ridiculous that a smoker should sue the company - as if there's a single smoker anywhere that is oblivious to the fact that they are dangerous. And it is also a sign of the times in this sick society that lawyers lick their chops over this stuff as they assign unfathomable values to damage claims.

When will it end? I pondered recently, what would happen to the entire economy if these cases started to proliferate? I then stumbled upon a new defense for the tobacco industry as I mulled why someone has yet to sue a liquor company for liver cancer or related ailments. What would Chivas Regal's defense be if some alcoholic with a cancer riddled liver were to suddenly launch a spectacular claim like in CA? The Chivas council would stand up in court and say the following:
"Chivas is a product which is to be enjoyed only occasionaly, not several times a day like Mr. Lawsuit here presumes. Mr. Lawsuit has abused the product and we are not responsible for his recklessness. In addition, most of our consumers do not abuse the product which is further evidence that Mr. Lawsuit has not used the product as indicated and that's why he became addicted."

Will a fat lady sue Sara Lee for having a chest-clutching heart attack directly related to her 'addiction'? The counsel for Sara Lee would stand up in court and say:
"Sara Lee pound cake is a product which is to be enjoyed only occasionaly, and especially not in huge portions on a daily basis as Ms. Lawsuit practiced. Ms. Lawsuit's addiction to Sara Lee is a direct result of her abuse of the product. The overwhelming majority of our consumers use the product as indicated, and we are thus not responsible for Ms. Lawsuit's recklessness."

So what is the NEW DEFENSE FOR THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY?
"Phillip Morris cigarettes are a leisure product which is meant to be enjoyed only occasionaly, not several times a day as Mr. Lawsuit has practiced. When we sell someone a pack of 20 cigarettes, we certainly don't intend for them to smoke the entire pack in one day. At Philip Morris, we intend for a smoker to enjoy perhaps a cigarette after dinner, or when relaxing on the weekends - we have never depicted the type of abusive use that Mr. Lawsuit has practiced in any advertisement. When we added nicotine to the product we simply intended to make it more enjoyable. There are many smokers who smoke far fewer cigarettes than Mr. Lawsuit, and we are not responsible for his addcition, which is a direct result of his recklessness."

If I were a juror, I'd honestly buy the above argument.... and here's the homerun: THERE HAVE BEEN NO STUDIES SHOWING THAT CIGARETTES CAUSE AILMENTS OR LEAD TO ADDICTION WHEN ONE USES THEM ONLY OCCASIONALLY, AND UNTIL THAT STUDY IS DONE THE TOBACCO COMPANIES CAN CLAIM THAT THEIR PRODUCT WAS NOT BEING USED AS INDICATED, i.e. THAT IT WAS SIMPLY BEING USED IN A RECKLESS MANNER.

Please post your arguments and opinions both for & against the recent
decision by the CA court.

P.S. I don't smoke, in fact I abhor cigarette smoke, but the lawsuit
thing is morally wrong and it must be stopped before it spreads to other industries that make potentially dangerous products.
Previous 25 | Next 25 | View Recent | Post Message
Go to reply# or date (mm/dd/yy):
ReplyMessage PreviewFromRecsPosted
32Message 23201122Litore Lapis-1/19/2007
31 Oh and one more thing... "G'day all - DMA, the devil is in the detailj__z-12/28/1999
30 "Tobacco Pushers" that’s funny! I have never heard of anyone forcing j__z-12/28/1999
29 Ooohhhh. Pity the poor tobacco industry!! Speaking of lawsuits, put this in yA. Borealis-12/26/1999
28 Here we go again.... Clinton admin. to sue the tobacco industry: dailynews.yahPaul Berliner-9/22/1999
27 C Kahn The guilt lies in the Biogenetic Engineering of the tobacco plant in SoLisa-7/10/1999
26 My own father whom I loved dearly, and still miss very much, died of lung canceC Kahn-7/9/1999
25 The responsibility of tobacco use lies with the tobacco user, period.C Kahn-7/9/1999
24 Insurers "may repay tobacco giants' compensation" LONDON, July 9 Paul Berliner-7/9/1999
23cnniw.newsreal.com@2@10&storypath=News/Story_1999_07_07.NRdb@2@23@3@668Paul Berliner-7/8/1999
22 It's frustrating to see juries convict when we might think that they are unDaniel Chisholm-2/17/1999
21 <i>"I'd love to see the jury system scrapped. It's an incredMikeM54321-2/17/1999
20 I'd love to see the jury system scrapped. It's an incredible waste of Lin Lee-2/16/1999
19 Thank you, Bosco. Paul Berliner-2/16/1999
18 G'day Paul - as I ve already confessed to DMA, my understanding of the gun Bosco-2/16/1999
17 Considered & rejected? I doubt either. What's their strategy now? They Paul Berliner-2/16/1999
16 "NEW DEFENSE FOR THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY? "Phillip Morris cigarettes areTorty-2/16/1999
15cnnfn.comPaul Berliner-2/16/1999
14 Bosco, I too saw the 60 Minutes and was quite horrified - not that I'm pro Paul Berliner-2/16/1999
13 <o.t.> Good morning to you too, DMA [and happy Tet] - I ve no more to offBosco-2/16/1999
12 Good morning Bosco, <i>Maybe the mind prefers simplicity, but blanket stDMaA-2/16/1999
11 <o.t.> G'day DMA - I know nothing about guns, but when you sez, &quoBosco-2/15/1999
10 Machine guns have been outlawed since the 30's and even the NRA has no gripDMaA-2/15/1999
9 G'day all - DMA, the devil is in the details. I do not think our founding fBosco-2/15/1999
8 G'day all - Paul, great thread. Of course, your insight and subsequent respBosco-2/15/1999
Previous 25 | Next 25 | View Recent | Post Message
Go to reply# or date (mm/dd/yy):