U.S. encourages smokers to file complaints against Big Tobacco
An American with cancer has just received a $37 million settlement. She accused Philip Morris of lying in the ads he made out for Marlboro in the 90s.
Are we currently heading for a wave of lawsuits against the tobacco industry in the United States? Either way, that’s the wish of Richard Dainard, director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) at Northeastern University. founded in 1979, PHAI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the interests of American consumers from all industries, “an industry that achieves profits through corporate policies that cause cancer, obesity and other preventable chronic diseases maximization.” Most of its attacks have targeted the tobacco and food industries.
Earlier, the Institute had won another success. As part of this case, he accompanied Patricia WalshGreene, an American, who filed a complaint against the tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) in 2015, alleging that the company was responsible for the lung cancer he was diagnosed with two years ago a few years ago. in 2018, the cancer also spread to his brain.
More specifically, the plaintiff attacked PMI for “misleading advertising” and “intentional misinformation.” According to her, the manufacturer’s MarlboroLights cigarette ads prompted her to start smoking again in 1995 after quitting for nine months. According to her, the manufacturer’s MarlboroLights cigarette ads prompted her to return to smoking nine months after she quit in 1995. She explained that the tobacco company’s ads led her to believe that its cigarettes said lights contained “fewer harmful substances” and were good for her health. At the time, the ads highlighted the fact that this “lighter” version of the tobacco company’s flagship product contained less tar and nicotine than the classic Marlboro.
A Massachusetts Supreme Court jury agreed with him. In its verdict (PDF), the court noted that Philip Morris failed to disclose studies that its products are harmful to human DNA, a damage that can lead to cancer.
Rather than defending itself by arguing that cigarettes are harmful, PMI itself focused its defense on the fact that there was no evidence that the plaintiffs had actually started smoking again because of its advertising.
But as the witness in the case, Dr. Kenneth Cummings, explained, the advertising campaign that was the subject of the complaint “lasted throughout Green’s childhood and all of her time as a smoker.
The ruling ends a case that began with a complaint filed by Patricia WalshGreene in 2015. The case had been heard twice before it was taken up by the Supreme Court today. The plaintiff won $37 million, the amount originally claimed, and 12 percent interest accrued over eight years.
In response to Richard Daynard, the case should encourage more consumers to sue tobacco companies that sell or have sold cigarettes in Massachusetts. “The more the tobacco industry pays for these decisions, the more careful they will be not to distort their products,” he said, adding that all those who started smoking before 2000 and quit advertising probably have a “very good track record.