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A Guide To Suing Tobacco Companies For Damages Caused By Smoking Cigarettes In California

For all those wondering if it is possible to sue tobacco companies for your own injuries or the death of your family member, the answer is: it might be. And a recent case, in which a Florida woman received a $2 million verdict against tobacco company RJ Reynolds over the death of her husband, is the latest proof of that.

The story goes like this. Tyrone Dixon, who had been smoking cigarettes for more than 25 years, died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 39. Prior to his death in 1994, the man was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer after decades of smoking cigarettes. The fatal hemorrhage was caused by the cancer’s metastasis.

Dixon’s family, consisting of a wife and two children, hired a product liability attorney and sued RJ Reynolds, claiming that the tobacco company took part in a decades-long scheme to cover up the dangers and risks of smoking tobacco.

Fact: Tobacco kills up to 50 percent of its users, according to the Action On Smoking & Health.

Smokers are suing tobacco companies over illnesses and deaths

“RJ Reynolds is not the only company that have failed to warn consumers of risks of smoking cigarettes, which means each and every one of them could potentially be held liable for any injuries and death caused by tobacco use,” says our Los Angeles product liability attorney at the Compass Law Group, PC

In its ruling, the jury put the vast majority of blame for Dixon’s death on RJ Reynolds. The tobacco company was assigned 58 percent of responsibility against Dixon’s own, 42 percent of responsibility for his death. Dixon’s wife received $1.3 million from the verdict, while two of his children received $350,000 each.

In addition to that, RJ Reynolds, which is behind such brands as Camel, Eclipse, Kent, Capri, and Lucky Strike, was found liable on the conspiracy claim for employing tactics to conceal the dangers of its products for decades. The jury recommended proceedings for determining punitive damages in the case.

How to sue tobacco companies for damages caused by smoking cigarettes?

“Despite the fact that tobacco companies are generally immune from lawsuits over a tobacco-related illness, injury, or death, it might still be possible to sue these companies and recover past and ongoing medical treatment costs and other damages,” says our product liability attorney from the Los Angeles Law Firm.

Tobacco-related illnesses cost California’s healthcare system billions of dollars each year, and kill more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. The most common grounds for filing a lawsuit against a tobacco company is its breach of duty, which caused your illness or the death of your loved one.

Regardless of the name of the brand you are suing, your claim will most likely consist of the following allegations:

  • The smoking company was aware or should have been aware of the addictiveness of cigarettes and the impact of cigarette use on health;
  • The smoking company deceived the public by misrepresenting and/or concealing the risks of tobacco use;
  • The smoking company failed to warn its consumers of the potential risks of smoking cigarettes;
  • The smoking company promoted cigarettes to children and teens and encouraged its use by advertisement;
  • The smoking company failed to take all reasonable and available measures to reduce the risks caused by its cigarettes.

Are you entitled to financial compensation for harm caused by tobacco?

You might be entitled to seek compensation for your tobacco-related illness or death of your loved one caused by smoking cigarettes regardless of what type of cigarettes you or your family member were smoking. These are some of the biggest companies that manufacture and sell cigarettes in Los Angeles and all across California:

  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco International Inc.
  • Philip Morris U.S.A. Inc.
  • Philip Morris International Inc.
  • Rothmans Inc.
  • Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.
  • Carreras Rothmans Limited
  • Altria Group, Inc.
  • JTI-Macdonald Corp.
  • Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited
  • British American Tobacco P.L.C.
  • B.A.T. Industries P.L.C.
  • British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited
  • Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers’ Council.

“So am I entitled to financial compensation for the harm caused by years or decades of tobacco use?” Ask our Los Angeles product liability attorney in a free consultation today. Let our best lawyers in California look into your particular claim and help you recover damages on your behalf.

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