Rio Sues U.S. Tobacco Companies
Rio state government announced Tuesday it has begun a lawsuit against U.S. tobacco firms in a bid to recover the public health care costs of treating sick smokers.
The lawsuit, the first of it kind by a Brazilian authority, was launched by four Texas lawyers acting for the state, said government lawyer Jose Calisto Ushoa Ribeiro. On Tuesday, the four filed papers in a U.S. court.
Ribeiro declined to immediately name the state, "for strategic reasons.''
"The lawsuit will be against all the American tobacco companies who, either directly or indirectly, have caused the government of Rio to incur costs in public health care,'' Ribeiro said at a news conference. He named 15 firms involved including Philip Morris and RJR Nabisco.