Friday, December 1, 2000
BRIEFLY / TOBACCO
N.Y. Court Rejects Smokers' Class-Action Status
A New York appeals court unanimously rejected the class-action
certification of a group of smokers seeking damages from major cigarette
makers for illnesses allegedly caused by smoking, Philip Morris Cos. said. The
plaintiffs brought the suit against Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
Holdings Inc. and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., a unit of British American
Tobacco. The court rejected the bid for a class-action suit because it decided
the cases had to be considered individually, said Philip Morris, the world's
top cigarette maker. The court also said the plaintiffs' claims based on
allegedly defective cigarette designs could not be resolved in a class-action
trial because "cigarettes are not a generic product" and the jury would have
to consider evidence regarding each type and brand of cigarette smoked by each
member of the proposed class, Philip Morris said. On the NYSE, shares of
Philip Morris were down 25 cents at $38.19 and shares of R.J. Reynolds were up
$1.88 at $39.38. Shares of British American Tobacco were off 6 cents to $14.56
in American Stock Exchange trading.
Type of Material: News Brief; Wire Service Story
Class Action Suits,
Tobacco Industry - Suits,
Philip Morris Companies Inc,
R J Reynolds Tobacco
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp,
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