Big tobacco recently suffered a significant loss in a cigarette smoking trial in federal court in New York (White Plains). The suit involved claims by the estate of a man who started smoking before turning 18, and prior to the Surgeon General’s warning.  The jury awarded damages for the death, and also found fraudulent concealment

Secrecy in litigation: good, bad or otherwise?

Court orders for secrecy sometimes raise difficult issues and one understands a sealing order. Other times, the secrecy appears completely undeserved. A recent example of apparently undeserved secrecy is playing out in Canada in connection with tobacco companies seeking insurance payments for their expenses in defending tobacco cases. 

For asbestos litigation defendants, a recurrent fear is facing waves of lung cancer claims that we would today say are completely or mainly caused by cigarette smoking. Accordingly, most lung cancer claimants face interrogatories and deposition questioning about whether, how much and how long they smoked. 

Over time, science may also answer the questions, as

The Madison County Record has the story on Illinois’ GOP legislators leading the charge  to help protect big tobacco against big bonds in appeals with proposed legislation specific to tobacco companies.  Apparently big tobacco is not satisfied with rule changes the Illinois Supreme Court made to allow discretion on the size of bonds after massive verdicts.