Vice Squad
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Tobacco Lawsuits Declining in the US

An Indian journalist is visiting New York courtesy of Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris, and he apparently has been given access to tobacco industry lawsuit statistics maintained by Altria. Here's his short article, which is chock full of statistics on the lawsuits. A sample:
Since January 1, 2003, there have been 14 trials of individual cases against the industry. Of these, ten verdicts have gone in the favour of tobacco companies.

The remaining four, for punitive damages collectively worth $ 333 million, are currently in appeal. All four cases are from the West Coast, which has traditionally seen a high incidence of anti-tobacco litigation.

But both states [California and Oregon, apparently] have seen a reduction in the number of such litigation in recent years. In California, there were 14 cases pending as of May 2004, against 39 in May 2000.

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