Tobacco Firms win suit filed by Unions
The tobacco industry won a major victory on March 18th when an Ohio jury ruled against 114 union health funds who were seeking to recover $2 billion spent to treat sick smokers.
The case, tried over the past several weeks before a federal court jury in Akron, is one of about 3 dozen filed by union health care funds around the nation. The union health insurers charged that cigarette makers, including Philip Morris and RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., deliberately targeted blue-collar workers, while deceiving them about the dangers and addictiveness of smoking. However, after deliberating for 3 days, the jury rejected these claims. This verdict puts the industry one-up in a wide-ranging legal battle between smoking foes and cigarette makers that continues to be fought in courtrooms around the nation.