A federal judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit that could result in up to $200 billion in damages against the major tobacco companies, wire services reported Monday.

The Associated Press and Reuters reported that Judge Jack Weinstein of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn approved class-action status in the Schwab case. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit say tobacco companies misled smokers into believing so-called light cigarettes are safer than others.

Among the defendants in the case are Winston-Salem-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI), and Greensboro-based Lorillard Tobacco Co. (NYSE: CG).

David Howard, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, said his company would appeal the decision and ask the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to stop proceedings in the case until it had ruled on the appeal.

“We disagree with the judge’s decision to grant class certificatino in this matter,” Howard said. He said that “virtually every smoker of light cigarettes chose their cigarettes for a different reason,” therefore there’s no legal basis to group all lights smokers together.

Other courts around the country, Howard said, have also ruled that lights smokers can’t be grouped together in one class. Weinstein also has a history of certifying class-action claims against the tobacco industry that are reversed on appeal, Howard said.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2007 at 7:30 pm and is filed under Tobacco. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Tobacco”

  1. steven nodland Says:

    I had a stroke in March of 2012 at the age of 49 I started smoking at the age of 18


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