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A man who started smoking when he was 9 and did not quit until he underwent throat cancer surgery 30 years later is time barred from suing cigarette companies for his disease, a New York Appellate Division, 3rd Department, panel has ruled.

A four-justice panel denied Warren Robare’s attempt to invoke the doctrine of equitable estoppel to prevent the defendant tobacco companies from successfully asserting the three-year statute of limitations as a defense. Citing Putter v. North Shore Univ. Hosp., 7 NY3d 553-554 (2006), the court said Robare had “timely awareness” of his cancer and its possible link to cigarettes since, at the latest, May 1991.

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