When it comes to the field of product liability lawsuits, there are few bigger fish in the pond than tobacco companies. The country’s history with tobacco is a long and complicated one, with advocates on all sides crying foul and personal freedom. A case that has been in process for more than a decade has come to a standstill, preventing the forward motion of an important precedent in product liability suits.
The case involves an Alaska man who died in 2004 from lung cancer, at the relatively young age of 52. The common-law wife of the deceased, along with his children, brought suit against Philip Morris, alleging that the man had been a longtime smoker of Marlboro Lights. The family contends that he was mislead about the dangers of continually smoking the brand.
The trial ended in a hung jury, and the family will have to decide quickly if they intend to push to have the case tried again. This marks the second time that the case been tried. The suit originally was decided in 2011 in favor of Philip Morris, but overturned.
Regardless of how the suit is eventually settled for good, it is inspiring to see everyday Americans recognizing their right to not be walked over by one of the biggest and most powerful corporations in the world. Product Liability suits are a brave undertaking, because those who undertake them are fighting not only for their own rights, but of the rights of countless others who have suffered similarly by the actions of a company. If you have been the victim of a faulty or misleading product, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you explore your options for recovery, ensuring that your rights remain protected.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Deadlocked jury in family’s lawsuit against tobacco company,” Nov. 16, 2016