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View Full Version : (NFT) 3 Billion Dollar Judgement against Phillip Morris


bkkcoh
06-07-2001, 06:31 AM
Here is the link for the story :

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010607/bs/tobacco_trial.html


I almost think we need change our jury system. This judgment is absurd. The more I hear of enormous judgements, the more I think we should almost go to a professional type of jury system.

I agree that people that were effected by tobacco back in the 50's and 60's might have been duped, but since then no one has any excuse not to know that tobacco could be harmful to one's life.

If tobacco is so bad for you, the goverenment should step in and declare it a harmful substance and regulate as a drug.

When are people going to be held accountable for their actions?

Bob Dole
06-07-2001, 07:18 AM
When are people going to be held accountable for their actions?

It appears that the answer to your question is "never." (At least not in this country.)

alanm
06-07-2001, 07:30 AM
I smoke and when I started I didn't have any pretense of becoming addicted. Therefore the cigarette companies and their product addicted me. I should then be able to file a lawsuit that could pay me millions. I'm not that greedy. :D

Clint in Wichita
06-07-2001, 07:51 AM
If tobacco companies don't like these high judgements, they can stop selling cigarettes. Until then, they should feel lucky to be able to sell an addictive narcotic over the counter in exchange for a percentage of their profit.

Cocaine and marijuana dealers aren't given that option, and they should be IMO.

BIG_DADDY
06-07-2001, 08:48 AM
A predictable responce from Socialist Clint.:rolleyes:

Iowanian
06-07-2001, 08:50 AM
clint,

to use the arguments that come up for other issues..."its legal, so smokers should be able to kill themselves if they want"


I don't smoke...Spent the majority of my childhood watching 2 of my grandparents and 2 other family members choke to death from lung cancer....leaves a lasting impression on a youngster....Lung cancer is a terrible thing....

But I don't think I can be convinced that these people didn't know smoking was bad for them.....its a risk you take when you have a bad habbit....and $3billion is just absurd.....It doesn't bring them back.

~smoking is bad...um-kay

KCTitus
06-07-2001, 09:06 AM
This verdict reminds me of the OJ verdict. Product Liability claims have been a real boon for the trial lawyers, who are the only group getting 'paid' in these situations.

Asbestos, Silicon Implants, and Tobacco...

So much for common sense.

Mark M
06-07-2001, 09:07 AM
I'm a smoker. Started when I was 14. If I die from it ... well, it's my own stupidity. The fact these people are suing, and winning, shows how far down this country has gone.

MM
~~Candidate for natural selection.

Clint in Wichita
06-07-2001, 09:12 AM
Well, we'll see how tobacco companies like it when their product is banned altogether.

bkkcoh
06-07-2001, 09:15 AM
KCTitus,

I would almost agree with you on the OJ verdict, but the police dropped the ball with a key piece of evidence(blood) and if that was true, the rest of the evidence (various other blood stains) had to be called into question. I do believe OJ did the murders, but if you throw out the tainted evidence, they have a heck of a lot harder time proving guilt.

The OJ situation was a total joke for the American (in)Justice system. :mad:

Mark M
06-07-2001, 09:15 AM
Clint--
Yeah right. You, I and everyone else on this board will be long gone by then. The FDA may control it, but I doubt it will be banned in our lifetime.

MM
~~Wishes he never started smoking, but blames only himself.

Clint in Wichita
06-07-2001, 09:20 AM
You're probably right. Unlike other drug dealers, they can and do make large campaign contributions.

KCTitus
06-07-2001, 09:22 AM
The Fed and State govts cant afford to let cigarettes be banned. The tax money generated via sales as well as these lawsuits which are re-distributed to the states are financial windfalls.

Lets not forget that Phillip Morris also owns Kraft Foods, one of the largest food companies. Even IF this judgement were to stand, dont think for one minute, they wont increase prices on other products to 'pay' the trial lawyers who won this case.

bkkcoh: your last line says it all...this is a joke as well. No more than 10-15 years ago, people who tried to sue tobacco companies stating that they didnt know they would get sick used to be laughed out of court. Now, they're winning 3billion dollar judgements from the class envious jurors. A complete joke...unfortunately, these idiots dont realize the joke is on them, because they will pay for it.

KCTitus
06-07-2001, 09:23 AM
Clint: drug dealers do make contributions...see the 1996 presidential election.

Clint in Wichita
06-07-2001, 09:25 AM
Yeah, right.

bkkcoh
06-07-2001, 09:32 AM
A complete joke...unfortunately, these idiots dont realize the joke is on them, because they will pay for it.

Unfortunatley we all have to pay for the care of these people that are on their death-bed and don't have means to pay for the care.

KCTitus
06-07-2001, 09:37 AM
bkkcoh: Well, that's another subject, but OK, yes 'we' do. That's the problem with the medical industry. Medicare and ERISA force you and I to pay the healthcare bills for the idiots who 'didnt realize' that smoking was bad for them. I hate that fact and would love to opt out of all these stupid saftey nets so that I dont have to 'pay' for these people.

Clint: I had allways pegged you as a cynic, I guess I shouldve know that it only applies to one side of the political spectrum.

Lightning Rod
06-07-2001, 10:44 AM
When people drive cars it is a given that some of them will die. When people eat too much, some of them will get heart disease and die. When people ride motorcycles some will die. When people have sex some will get Aids and die. When people drink, some will get drunk and some will crash their car. When people light something on fire and intentionally suck the smoke into their body, some are going to die. I smoke because I choose to smoke. Is there an addictive quality to cigarettes? Yes. Who is at fault should I continue to smoke and become ill? Me! It is not the Bartenders fault should “I” drink too much. It is not the FDA’s fault if I eat red meat every day and clog my arteries. People need to be held responsible for their own actions. This I’m a victim and I’m too stupid to make my own decisions crap makes me retch.

Clint in Wichita
06-07-2001, 11:02 AM
As long as smokers pay their own premiums, they have every right to receive treatment for smoking-related illnesses.

If you have a poor diet,, should you be denied health care if you develop clogged arteries?

keg in kc
06-07-2001, 11:05 AM
This is ridiculous on two fronts:

1) there was the 3 billion dollar judgement
2) tobacco is legal when other things are not

No, I'm not a socialist wacko. If I have the right to choose to shorten my life with tobacco (I don't smoke), I should have the right to shorten it with weed too (I don't smoke that either...). Outlawing cigarettes won't do anything but create a black market network. As we all know, prohibition doesn't work...

Anyway, when are these idiotic lawsuits going to stop?!?!

They have to end sometime, when did the warning labels start?

IMHO, nobody for the last twenty years or so has any excuse other than their own decision to smoke what they knew was a dangerous substance.

Every day, I see another lawsuit saying none of us should have any personal responsibility...

Gaz
06-07-2001, 11:24 AM
As long as smokers pay their own premiums, they have every right to receive treatment for smoking-related illnesses.

As long as the smokers pay a jacked-up premium, I agree.

Insurance is a shared-risk endeavor. If someone in my group engages in high-risk behavior and I do not, then I am subsidizing that person's high-risk behavior.

Raise the smoker's premium to balance his lifestyle choice and I am happy.

xoxo~
Gaz
Will eventually pay a higher premium for being out of shape.

Lightning Rod
06-07-2001, 11:43 AM
I agree that the insurance rates should reflect on ones “risky” behavior. My life Insurance does cost more since I smoke. Unfortunately some of this is PR. Someone please convince me that Parents and cell phone owners are not more distracted than other drivers. Lets see how the soccer moms of the world react when their premiums go up because they reproduced.

I really think that we need a little chlorine in our gene pool. Perhaps removing the warnings that say “intentionally concentrating and inhaling may cause bad things” on the side of roach spray might be a good start.

Baby Lee
06-07-2001, 11:48 AM
Those verdicts get so big due to two factors;

1) the corporation acts reprehensably, and
2) they make a buttload of profit in doing so.

While food, automobiles, sex, beer, etc., have positive aspects and attendant risks, cigarettes have one, only one, use, to addict you to a substance that will kill you. And the tobacco companies that get these verdicts slammed on them knew that from virtually the time they started.

You can eat healthy. You can drive safely. You can practice safe sex. You can drink responsibly. You cannot smoke without increasing the inevitability of addiction and death with each cigarette.

And just because the American public is finally getting to the point where their decision to become a nicotine addict could be described as "informed" doesn't mean that the bad conduct by the tobacco companies is over. For every loss they take through verdicts, legislation, or taxation her in America, they just open up another 'virgin' market. They export the glitzy campaigns to Africa or Asia, or India and "the money keeps rolling in."

Make no mistake, when these companies, or any company that knows of a defect in their product, knowingly puts the defective product out there, they have made a reasoned decision that the costs to others [you know, maimings, diseases, death] may eventually find their way back to them, but the profit from the enterprise will vastly outweight the costs [if they come]. A verdict like this is our chance to say "your math was a little off. You don't get to profit from this enterprise."

Further, unlike a defective product that R&D can improve upon, the defect in cigarettes are their selling point. No defect, no product. No product, no profits. In fact, these companies knew of ways to lessen the addictive and destructive aspects of cigarettes, but found that the 'safer' product didn't fly off the shelves like the addictive stuff and scrapped it.

Logical
06-07-2001, 11:51 AM
I am definitely out of my conservative box on this issue.

Here goes,

This ruling is more about the tobacco industry practices of:

Manipulating nicotine levels to promote addiction (a memo was uncovered)

Aiming a large percentage of their marketing to get the young addicted

Witholding from the market innovations their own scientists have done with tobacco to make it less addictive (another memo)

It is not really about the consumer not knowing nearly as much as it is about the three items above.

I am actually with Clint on this, it is like a tax for all the harm they are doing to people. It will further raise the prices and at least maybe a few more will never start even if no others decided to quit.

DanT
06-07-2001, 11:52 AM
Whenever I see stories like this two things immediately come to mind:

(i) Why is it so hard for the corporately-owned media to report how many of the overwhelming majority of my peers on the jury sided with the plaintiffs? Was it 12-0, 11-1, 10-2? What? Surely, if there were no basis for the plaintiff's case, the poor little corporation would have been able to scare up an attorney somewhere who was capable of convincing whatever tiny minority of jurors was necessary to win a verdict for them. Did this tobacco company even get a single juror to agree with them?

(ii) the smoker apprears to have started smoking in the 1940's or 1950's and must be claiming to have been swayed by the tobacco companies' advertisements. I've spent many enjoyable afternoons in libraries looking over magazines and newspapers from eras before I was born--in high school, especially, I would routinely skip school and hang out in the microfiche room of the KCMO downtown library--and I can tell you that the tobacco advertisements from that era are so laughable in their false health claims that it's not at all surprising that plaintiffs over 60 years old win these huge cases. It's a kind of justice when liars get exposed, even if it takes decades to do it!

BIG_DADDY
06-07-2001, 12:36 PM
Red Clint,

Sure, that's what we need, some more restrictions on our freedoms. You were born in the wrong country. Your thought process is exactly what is becoming wrong with this country.

KCTitus
06-07-2001, 12:39 PM
DanT: the jury was from LA...I think that should sufficiently answer your question. As far as smokers who started due to the health claims in the 40's and 50's, to claim they didnt know any better today or over the last 30+ years is LYING.

I have yet to see any proof that a tobacco company employee forced anyone to smoke a cigarette. These people chose to smoke. Smoke and face the consequences.

BigMeatballDave
06-07-2001, 01:02 PM
I`m an ex-smoker. I quit about 5 years ago because I did the math on what I was spending yearly on cigarettes.

No one held a gun to my head when I started smoking at 17.
My friends started so it seemed liked the thing to do.
Tobacco companies don`t force there products on the consumer.
No body complains about alcohol and its all over TV and radio.
I can`t help it-Joe Camel made me do it. Yeah, thats it, the camel that looks like a penis made me light up!!!

Clint in Wichita
06-07-2001, 01:11 PM
Big Daddy,

"Red Clint"?

I'm all for free enterprise. That's why I believe most illegal drugs should be legalized. Imagine how beneficial it would be our government to rake in "drug taxes". I'd bet my home that amount of taxes taken in from drugs would be second only to the federal income tax, not to mention the fact that the prison population in this country would be reduced by 75%.

Wouldn't a "commie" be against giving the people the choice to buy the drugs they want?

KCTitus
06-07-2001, 01:16 PM
Clint: by the same token, you wish to ban cigarettes, which a black market will arise and we'll have the same legal problems with the trafficking of tobacco instead of marijuana or cocaine.

KS Smitty
06-07-2001, 01:33 PM
Tobacco has been around forever. Benjamin Franklin new in the late 1700's that smoking was bad, and never used the stuff. The mass marketing of tobacco is more recent and yes the tobacco companies were deceitful of the effects of smoking. However, the people that were "tricked" into smoking by the tobacco companies no doubt had relatives that had smoking related illnesses. The tobacco companies lose 3 billion dollars but as in most class action suits it's the attorneys that will get alot of that. Ol dead Uncle John, his children and grandchildren wont see a dime of this money. I would imagine that the jurors have known at least one person that died from emphysema or lung or throat cancer and many of these people probly didn't stop smoking even after diagnosis. It's a dirty disgusting filthy habit that I gave up many years ago and when people say there's nothing worse than an ex-smoker they're right, just ask Mrs. Smitty. The smoke irritates me and I hate seein someone who is hard at work with a cig dangling and one eye scrunched shut. Then they gotta quit what they're doin to flick an ash or whatever. I don't think though that the tobacco companies are totally to blame, tobacco would still be around without em. If ya wanna sue somebody why don't you sue the native americans that introduced the devil weed to the white man. They didn't warn of any bad effects.

Clint in Wichita
06-07-2001, 01:34 PM
I DON'T want cigarettes banned; I never said I did. IMO they will be eventually.

All that stuff should be legal, with the same limitations as alcohol.

KCTitus
06-07-2001, 01:44 PM
Post #8 threw me off, then. Of course, who do you think will be packaging marijuana for consumption if it were legalized? Phillip Morris, RJR...etc...those same bad companies.

KCTitus
06-07-2001, 01:46 PM
smitty: I, too, am a former smoker. I miss it, however, and to this day enjoy the smell of smoke.

BIG_DADDY
06-07-2001, 02:54 PM
If tobacco companies don't like these high judgements, they can stop selling cigarettes. Until then, they should feel lucky to be able to sell an addictive narcotic over the counter in exchange for a percentage of their profit. Well, we'll see how tobacco companies like it when their product is banned altogether.

Doesn't exactly sound like you are backing free enterprise here. If this is the beating of the capitalist drum I not exactly sure how to respond. :confused:



What do think of personal responsibility Clint?

Clint in Wichita
06-07-2001, 03:03 PM
In neither quote did I say I want cigarettes banned. They CAN stop selling them. They probably WILL be banned.

As far as personal responsibility, I'm all for that, too. I should be allowed to be responsible for my decision to purchase cocaine, marijuana, steroids, or any other drug I choose, including pharmaceuticals.

When the govt. stops babying the American public and faces up to the fact a joint (or even a joint per day) or a line doesn't automatically ruin your life anymore than cigarettes, THEN maybe these whiny lawsuits will stop.

They're not going to have their cake & eat it, too.

All drugs or none, including alcohol, tobacco, and even caffeine. That's how it oughta be!

BIG_DADDY
06-07-2001, 03:09 PM
I would certainly go for the ALL part and have people take personal responsibility. The further we get away from the NONE part the better off we will be. Unfortunately this is idealism and not realism. Realism is that it will probably take place one step at a time if it takes place at all. It is just unrealistic to expect the country to jump into the no drug laws camp in one move.

Tomahawk 11
06-07-2001, 03:57 PM
Do you think the "second hand smoke" thing will ever get in on this?

I totally agree that no one should be able to look anyone in the eye and say "I thought it was good for me!" But I kinda think that the second hand smoke thing (what do you call them, second hand smokers?) should have a claim in this thing. Those people never had a choice in the matter and still don't. You gotta breath.

I am just asking the question here, I am not thinking about calling a lawyer right now. Although a slice of $3 billion couldn't hurt right about anytime!

Just how much would the lawyers take? I guess the real question is how much would I come out with. If they took 99% (I suck at math) of a $3 billion payoff, wouldn't you still come out considerably ahead?

I dabbled in smoking for a little while, but I always woke up with a mouth that tasted like hell and I am sure smelled even worse. I hate the smell of it and I always have (weird that I ever smoked). My grandma smokes like a chimney. I make a point to wear old clothes when I go over there. I usually take a shower after I get back home and wash my clothes. Sound like OCD, huh!

Bob Dole
06-07-2001, 04:59 PM
The smoke irritates me and I hate seein someone who is hard at work with a cig dangling and one eye scrunched shut. Then they gotta quit what they're doin to flick an ash or whatever.

If the person has to quit doing what they're doing just to flick an ash, they ain't much of a smoker...