Class-Action Denied in 4 Tobacco Suits
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. on Thursday said a federal judge denied class-action certification in four lawsuits filed against the company and others in the tobacco industry, saying the claims had ''individual issues.''
The four cases, brought in Nevada, were consolidated for purposes of the class-certification proceedings, the unit of R.J. Reynolds Holdings Inc. said. One case involved smokers, the company said, and the other three were filed on behalf of non-smoking casino workers exposed to secondhand smoke.
``In sum, the court finds that individual determinations would likely predominate in these enormously large number of cases, thereby defeating the purpose of a class action in maintaining judicial economy,'' the court said in a June 29 opinion.
Other defendants in the cases included Philip Morris Cos. Inc.; Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., a unit of British American Tobacco Plc, Lorillard Tobacco Co., a unit of Loews Corp.; American Tobacco Co., and Liggett Group Inc., R.J. Reynolds said.