Path to Law Suits against Cigarette Manufacturers
Donald J. Cohn of Webster & Sheffield, a cigarette manufacturer's counsel, is shown speaking to the jury in Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 683 F.Supp. 1487 (1988), in U.S. District Court D in New Jersey. Presiding Judge H. Lee Sarokin agreed with the defendants that affixing to their product the Surgeon General's warning that cigarette smoking is dangerous to one's health fulfilled the minimum requirement for cigarette manufacturers and that the plaintiff's lawyers could not argue based on the advertiser's implications that lower nicotine content is safer. Rose Cipollone had died but her family argued it up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Cipollones lost their case, but the justices ruled during litigation that smokers might have other grounds to pursue claims against cigarette manufacturers under state laws.