Thursday, January 6, 2011
First of its kind settlement for wrongful death associated with chewing tobacco
The Abnormal Use blog is reporting that according to The Associated Press and Reuters (here and here) a maker of smokeless tobacco products Skoal and Copenhagen, reached an agreement with a plaintiff in December that is believed to be the first-ever wrongful death settlement involving chewing tobacco. The Big Tobacco manufacturer paid $5 million the family of the North Carolina man, who died of mouth cancer at age 42, but was quick to point out that "[the company has] no intention of settling cases such as this in the future." According to the report, the plaintiffs' case was supported by by "incredibly damning documents" including previously undisclosed letters from the 1980s that the company sent to minors, thanking them for their business and sending them free samples. In once instance, he said, the company even sent a child a can opener to aid him in opening the chewing tobacco containers. For more on the story, including helpful links to more information, go to the Abnormal Use Blog here.