A New York state Supreme Court judge recently issued an important ruling allowing a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit against cigarette manufacturer R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and its supplier Hollingsworth & Vose. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit claims that the defendants knew or should have known the asbestos contained in their cigarette filters were dangerous and could cause serious health problems for consumers.
According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of New York County, the plaintiff developed pleural mesothelioma as a result of smoking Kent brand cigarettes, marketed and sold by R.J. Reynolds with materials sourced by Hollingsworth & Vose, in the 1950s. The plaintiff alleges the filters in those cigarettes contained asbestos, which the defendants were aware could cause health complications.
The defendants filed various motions to have the case thrown out of court and dismissed without a trial, claiming they should not be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries because the health effects of asbestos exposure were not widely known at the time the plaintiff smoked Kent brand cigarettes. Asbestos has only been regulated by the federal government since the 1970s, but due to its widespread use before restrictions were adopted, many companies were fully aware that their asbestos laden products posed a danger to the general public.
In their response to the motions for summary judgement, attorneys for the plaintiff pointed to over 160 exhibits that showed asbestos was a deadly carcinogen, some as far back as 1952, and contended that the defendants should have known about the risk of exposure. The plaintiff’s legal team also pointed to marketing materials from R.J. Reynolds claiming that the asbestos Micronite filter on their cigarettes made the product safe and that it offered the greatest health protection available.
Fortunately for the plaintiff, the judge hearing the case dismissed the defendants’ arguments and sided with the plaintiff. The judge went as far as to suggest that punitive damages may be warranted in the case, noting that the defendants had knowledge for decades about the risks of asbestos exposure from their cigarette filters and that a jury could reasonably conclude the behavior was wanton and deserving of enhanced compensation.
By filing a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, victims and their families can recover compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages while recovering from treatment, and the pain and suffering of living with the disease. In cases in which the victim has succumbed to mesothelioma, families have legal rights to continue asbestos cancer lawsuits on their behalf and hold asbestos companies liable for the harm caused by their indifference to public safety.
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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.