A Queens Supreme Court judge has refused to certify a class action by persons who claim they contracted cancer as a result of cigarette smoking, saying that individual considerations “overwhelm” common questions in the case.

In Geiger v. American Tobacco Company, Index No. 10687/97, Justice Nathan L. Berke of Queens County Supreme Court denied a plaintiffs’ motion to proceed as a class, holding that the case fails to satisfy civil procedure rules for class actions. The rules require that the proposed case present a predominance of common questions, and that a class action be a superior way to handle the parties’ legal claims.

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