A State Supreme Court justice last week handed the tobacco industry a sweeping victory in ruling that union health plans cannot bring common law claims in their own right to recover the costs of treating their members for tobacco-related illnesses.

Justice Charles E. Ramos, in Daycare Council-Local 205 D.C. 1707 Welfare Fund v. Philip Morris, 606240/97, dismissed as “too remote” claims brought by 14 union trust funds for themselves against the major manufacturers of cigarettes.