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DECISIONS n TORTS ruling on a first impression issue for the circuit, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed on April 8 a Tennessee federal court’s conclusion that class members suing major tobacco companies under a theory that they are paying more for insurance because of smokers within their class of insureds, cannot prove that the tobacco companies’ actions were the proximate cause of their injuries. Perry v. The American Tobacco Co., No. 01-5715. The lower court dismissed the plaintiffs’ suit, which alleged that the tobacco companies had caused the smoking-re-lated illnesses of Blue Cross Blue Shield members, and that the costs Blue Cross had to pay out to cover their treatment were passed on to nonsmoking insureds. The 6th Circuit reviewed decisions on the same issue in eight other circuit courts, noting that none of them had allowed such cost-recovery suits to proceed because the alleged injuries were too remote. Not only did the court decline the plaintiffs’ invitation to become the first court to hold otherwise, the panel ruled that the injury was even further removed than in other cases, which involved unions or third-party payors themselves.

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