Tobacco Companies win the Butler-ETS trial
A Mississippi jury returned a verdict in favor of the tobacco industry, rejecting claims that a barber's cancer death was caused by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
The family of Burl Butler, a nonsmoker, sued the tobacco companies alleging that Mr. Butler's cancer was the result of years of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in the barber shop that he owned and operated in Laurel, Miss., for more than 30 years. The case was the second individual ETS lawsuit to go to trial. In the first such case, which was tried last year in Indiana, a jury also returned a verdict in favor of the tobacco companies. Evidence presented at the three-week trial revealed that Mr. Butler had an unusually high incidence of cancer in his immediate family and expert testimony showed that Mr. Butler had at least four primary cancers at the time of his death. The jury deliberated less than two hours before returning its verdict in favor of the tobacco companies