State appeal court upholds $349 million settlement
The Third District Court of Appeal in Miami upheld the $349 million settlement awarded to non-smoking flight attendants in October 1997, ending the nation's first class action trial against Big Tobacco.
In this class action suit, thousands of flight attendants claimed that years of exposure to secondhand-smoke from the use of cigarettes by passengers aboard commercial airliners made them sick. Of this settlement, $300 million will be used to create a medical foundation that will study diseases associated with second hand smoke. The balance $49 million will cover attorney fees and other expenses of $3 million. This ruling sets the stage for thousands of flight attendants to pursue individual damage claims in courts nationwide.