Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The plaintiffs in this medical monitoring class action were 250,000 current and former smokers living in West Virginia. The defendants were the major tobacco companies — Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Philip Morris Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Corp. The plaintiffs contended that the tobacco companies produced a defective product that exposed them to increased risk of disease and that the companies therefore should pay for medical monitoring to determine if the plaintiffs already had lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The plaintiffs were also seeking medical monitoring in the future. This was the first such class action against the industry to go to trial; a similar class action is pending in Louisiana. The plaintiffs’ basic contentions were that they had been exposed to proven toxic substances, that there are tests available for early detection of disease and that the tobacco companies ought to pay for these tests. The plaintiffs also argued that, even if there was no proof that monitoring extends life, at least it would give the plaintiffs more time to put their affairs in order. The defendants called medical monitoring both unnecessary and possibly dangerous. While the plaintiffs demanded CT scans to detect early stages of cancer or pulmonary disease, Philip Morris defense counsel Samuel Klein said that “no public health organization in the United States recommends [them]. They’re not proven to be safe, reliable or effective.” The gold standard for any medical testing, argued the defense, is whether the test will extend a patient’s life. “These tests will kill people who would otherwise not have died,” Klein said, adding that there is also no reason for follow-up testing. “If you want to reduce your risks of disease, quit smoking.” On Nov. 14, a Wheeling, W.Va., jury found no defect, negligence, breach of promise or willful and wanton misconduct. An appeal is expected. Plaintiffs’ attorneys: Scott Segal, Segal Law Firm, Charleston, W.Va.; Fred Baker, Ness Motley Loadholt Richardson & Poole, Charleston, S.C. Defense attorneys: Samuel Klein and Sean Wajert, Dechert, Philadelphia; Jeffrey Furr, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Frank Woodside, Dinsmore & Shohl, Cincinnati; William Newbold, Thompson Coburn, St. Louis.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.