8
   

Should Ex-smoker win $8 million?

 
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 02:20 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

Even this doesn't fly, because of the danger to any children in the house. You can't willingly decide to take actions which are harmful to them, and they sure can't consent.

Parents routinely take actions which are potentially harmful to children. They let them ride ATV's, ride in cars without seatbelts, feed them junkfood, expose them to sun without sunscreen, let them play with large carnivores three times their size, etc. Our society gives parents the ability to consent for their children. If you install asbestos insulation in your home and the state decides to act for the health of the children, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO SUE THE MANUFACTURER. You are the guilty party. You chose to install the insulation knowing the risks to yourself and your children. Likewise if you choose to smoke. You are complicit, you exposed your children, you exposed your neighbors, you ruined your lungs, you did it, you did it for forty years in this case and no one forced you to.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 04:59 pm
@engineer,
If GM fails to fix a potentially dangerous situation on one of their models and someone buys one of those models and gets killed or seriously injured because of that defect, then they are fully entitled, whether they knew of it or not, to sue GM. And they would win.

The tobacco companies are doing just that. Putting out a product that they know is toxic, a product that can kill. But as I've mentioned, tobacco, for a number of reasons, all silly, gets a kind of reprieve.

They are being sued, successfully, because they are putting out a product that is a killer. They continue to put out the product, for now, because profits exceed losses.

Someone should sue the government also, state and federal, for helping such a situation to continue.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 07:12 pm
@JTT,
People get killed using cars all the time. GM could dramatically reduce the rate of car deaths by putting speed limiters on them so that they could only go 30 mph and install those breath analyzing devices on every car so that drunks couldn't drive. That might triple the price and dramatically reduce the functionality, but so what? No one is suing GM for making cars that can go two to three times the speed limit. Why is that? If you owned a 1985 GM compact with no air bags and you were injured in an accident, I would feel for you but I wouldn't grant you damages from GM. You could have ponied up for another car with airbags and anti-lock brakes, but you chose to forgo those options. You took a calculated risk and you lost.

Tobacco companies are selling a product they know is toxic; everyone else knows that too. I highly discourage anyone from smoking, but if they do, the responsibility for doing it rests squarely on their shoulders. I understand someone getting sick and wanting to blame someone else for their illness be it God or the government or fate or the tobacco companies, but sometimes the blame lies in the person in the mirror.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:06 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
People get killed using cars all the time.


Cars do not have within them toxins, nor do they have other things that are inherently dangerous. When something is discovered that is dangerous, it is quickly fixed.

There is a safe way to use an automobile. There is no safe way to use tobacco.

Quote:
I understand someone getting sick and wanting to blame someone else for their illness be it God or the government or fate or the tobacco companies, but sometimes the blame lies in the person in the mirror.


Evidently not, in the eyes of the judge in the OP post. Now all he has to decide if there should be punitive damages. Absolutely. As much as is allowed. That will open the floodgates, hopefully.

The money, though it will go to one person, is an overall benefit to society. As I mentioned, people should begin to sue the government too.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:34 pm
No, she should not win $ 8 million!
Cigarettes are legally sold in the United States, despite its warning on every
cigarette box. As long as it is legal to sell them/buy them, the person who is
buying takes full responsibility.

Why isn't this an issue with Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme? I could
claim that I got addicted to donuts, piled up 300 lbs. and I am now in poor
health and need a triple bypass. Am I able to sue Krispy Kreme? Hell no,
but this isn't any different than holding the tobacco industry accountable.

Why aren't alcoholics going after Anheuser Bush because they got addicted
to Miller lite? Okay, bad example Very Happy Let's take Diageo, the world's largest
hard liquor producer: why aren't they tangled up in million $$$ litigations
from alcoholics?
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 01:48 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Cars do not have within them toxins, nor do they have other things that are inherently dangerous. When something is discovered that is dangerous, it is quickly fixed.

Cars can go two to three times the maximum allowable speed limit. This is inherently dangerous and has never been fixed. Recent trends are going the opposite way - more horsepower, not less. Adding a governor to the system is a trivial add. Why can auto makers get away with making such a dangerous product?

JTT wrote:

Quote:
I understand someone getting sick and wanting to blame someone else for their illness be it God or the government or fate or the tobacco companies, but sometimes the blame lies in the person in the mirror.


Evidently not, in the eyes of the judge in the OP post. Now all he has to decide if there should be punitive damages. Absolutely. As much as is allowed. That will open the floodgates, hopefully.

I assumed the thread was asking my opinion of the verdict, not whether some jury could be convinced to provide damages. After all, a jury decided that Piper Cub was responsible when a man removed the front seat of his airplane, installed a camera there and while trying to pilot from the rear seat of his plane attempted to take off despite a van being parked across the runway to prevent him from taking off. (The owner of the runway was concerned about the safety of the scheme and its compliance with FAA rules.) When the man crashed into the van and suffered serious brain injuries, Piper was held liable for $2.5 million dollars because they "negligently designed the aircraft without adequate forward vision from the rear seat and negligently failed to provide a rear shoulder harness." A jury awarded a Vermont woman who lost her arm $6 million after a doctor administered Phenergan for nausea even though the drug is very commonly used, comes with pages of warnings directing doctors not to use it the way it was used and detailing the risks of the drug in excurciating detail. Can you occasionally convince a jury that black is white? Infrequently, but sure. But if you are asking my opinion, the smoker used cigarettes fully aware of the dangers and owns the result.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 01:55 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
Why can auto makers get away with making such a dangerous product?


Because it isn't inherently dangerous. It's only dangerous if it's misused. The same with welders, teakettles, hairdryers, jacks, both the childrens' type and the big ones, kitchen knives, water jugs, plastic bags, and a billion other things.

Tobacco is dangerous with every use. It is full of toxins, carcinogens, things that the government won't let be put in any other products.

Clearly, opinions were sought. That's the nature of A2K, E. And yours are always appreciated because they are, well, just damn good opinions!
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 02:02 pm
@JTT,
In other words, tobacco is dangerous if used as intended whereas the other products you mentioned are not.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 02:17 pm
There are probably specific facts in this case that led to the conclusion that the tobacco company had liability. The plaintiff began smoking in the 1970's. At that time, tobacco companies fought against public information that their product was dangerous. Tobacco companies hid negative data and tried to make the public believe that reports on the dangers were debatable. The plaintiff had already become addicted before the dangers were considered "beyond debate". The plaintiff will die young. I would consider that aspect as the plaintiff's share of the responsibility.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 10:13 pm
@Linkat,
Quote:
In other words, tobacco is dangerous if used as intended whereas the other products you mentioned are not.


Couldn't have said it better meself, Linkat.

I wonder, how much do federal and state governments make each year in tobacco taxes?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 10:15 pm
@wandeljw,
That very thought occurred to me earlier today. Thanks for raising that issue, Wandeljw. The tobacco people have got a lot to answer for.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 11:18 am
@JTT,
Huge money maker in taxes - reason why tobacco is so high in the US. You go to the poor countries that tobacco companies are advertising all over the place and the price is significantly less.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 11:20 am
People seem to be ignoring the fact that the ciggie companies deliberately made their product more addictive. This isn't the case of someone making a conscious and informed choice based on the known facts - they sure as hell didn't inform anyone that their product was, over time, becoming harder and harder to quit.

Frankly, if you weren't or aren't a smoker yourself, you don't understand how hard it is to quit.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 11:28 am
@Linkat,
Quote:
Huge money maker in taxes - reason why tobacco is so high in the US. You go to the poor countries that tobacco companies are advertising all over the place and the price is significantly less.


Large fount of ready cash there. Can the feds and the states say 'complicity'?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 11:49 am
@JTT,
Ok, US federal taxes on cigarattes is $1.01/pack, state taxes vary - mine is $2.51/pack. With a pack costing on average about $5 in Mass (at least that is what I heard). Tobacco companies get $1.48/pack and government gets $3.52 in taxes.

I wonder if the government has a vested interest in keeping cigarattes?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 12:45 pm
@Linkat,
Quote:
I wonder if the government has a vested interest in keeping cigarattes?


Quote:

State, Federal Governments Dependent On Tobacco Tax Revenue, Strength Of Industry

The New York Times on Sunday examined how a "growing reliance by the states and federal government on cigarette taxes -- as well as a popular proposal to increase federal taxes by 61 cents to an even $1 per pack to finance [SCHIP] -- provide a sort of insurance policy for the continued survival of menthol cigarettes." The National Conference of State Legislators last month said states were facing combined deficits of more than $40 billion in 2009, and increasing tobacco taxes "is one way some states are trying to make up the shortfall," the Times reports. Last year, states collected more than $19 billion in cigarette taxes. Ten states increased their cigarette taxes in 2007 and more states are considering increases this year. According to the Times, the government "has become a financial stakeholder in smoking, some would argue, even as public health officials warn people about its deadly consequences" (Saul, New York Times, 8/31).


http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/120076.php
0 Replies
 
 

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