In a decision handed down by the Florida Supreme Court on July 6, 2006, the Court upheld a lower court ruling decertifying the class action status of long pending tobacco litigation known as the Engle case. But in doing so, the Court granted the rights for smokers to pursue their cases on an individual basis, providing the suits are brought within one year of the ruling. Perhaps the most beneficial issue decided by the Court was allowing the liability findings against the tobacco defendants by the trial court jury to stand. Thus, individual plaintiffs will not be under the burden to prove that the defendants are liable for their injuries, only that their injuries are related to cigarette smoking. For further information, please read attorney Cal Warriner's blog on the unprecedented ruling.
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death
in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $50 billion in direct medical costs. Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS
, drug abuse, car crashes
, murders, suicides, and fires - combined!
Nationally, smoking results in more than 5 million years of potential life lost each year. Approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers. More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents - the decision to smoke cigarettes.
The harmful effects of smoking do not end with the smoker. Women who use tobacco during pregnancy are more likely to have adverse birth outcomes, including babies with low birth weight, which is linked to an increased risk of infant death and with a variety of infant health disorders
. The health of nonsmokers is adversely affected by environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Each year, exposure to ETS causes an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans to die of lung cancer
and causes up to 300,000 children to suffer from lower respiratory tract infections
. Evidence also indicates that exposure to ETS increases the risk of coronary heart disease
For years the tobacco companies have systematically mislead the public regarding the dangers of cigarette smoking. However, the era of big tobacco dominance may be coming to an end. From new state and Federal legislation to lawsuits
filed by those who have been adversely affected by cigarettes, the industry is under great pressure to clean up its act.
If you have been victimized by the tobacco industry's campaign of misinformation, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
- Cigarette Fires
- Defective & Dangerous Products: Overview
- Florida Tobacco Lawsuits
- Addiction: Overview
- Asthma: Overview
- Birth Defects
- Bone, Joint & Muscle Disorders: Overview
- Broken Bones: Overview
- Bronchospasm: Overview
- Cleft Lip: Overview
- Common Cold: Overview
- Emphysema: Overview
- Esophageal Cancer
- Female Infertility
- Heart Attack Lawsuits
- Heart Failure: Overview
- High Blood Pressure (hypertension): Overview
- Influenza: Overview
- Lung Cancer: Overview
- Male Infertility: Overview
- Memory Loss
- Multiple Sclerosis: Overview
- Osteoporosis: Overview
- Tachycardia / Fast Heartbeat: Overview
- Cigarettes & Tobacco: Frequently Asked Questions