Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Florida Flight Attendants' Settlement Upheld
On Thursday, March 25, 1999, a Florida appeals court upheld the $349 million settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by flight attendants (see personal war). The attendants originally claimed they got sick from second-hand smoke in airplanes.

A group of dissenting flight attendants were unsatisfied with the settlement because it created a $300 million health foundation, but did not compensate the plaintiffs individually. A three judge panel disagreed stating that the settlement was fair. "We conclude that the settlement provided substantial benefits to the class members. The judges further concluded, "We hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by approving this settlement as 'fair, adequate and reasonable.'"

WALL STREET JOURNAL, (3/25/99) "Tobacco Settlement With Flight Attendants Upheld By State Court", Associated Press, p. C7.
NEW YORK TIMES, (3/25/99) "Tobacco Settlement Is Upheld In Florida", Reuters, p. A20.
USA TODAY, (3/25/99) "Smoking Settlement", p. A8.
REUTERS, (3/24/99) "Florida Court Upholds $349 Million Tobacco Settlement", Michael Connor.

Another Flight Attendants ETS Class Action Lawsuit Moves Forward
On December 11th, 2000, a divided U.S. Supreme Court let stand a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision of April 6, 2000 which will enable a class action lawsuit to proceed against Northwest Airlines on behalf of flight attendants who claim they were harmed by secondhand smoke on flights to Asia.

In ruling 6 to 3 not to hear the appeal of Northwest Airlines in this case, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for a federal District Court in Washington state to begin further legal proceedings in the case (Julie Duncan v. Northwest Airlines) in which flight attendants are seeking tens of millions of dollars for up to 4,000 flight attendants who were forced to breath secondhand smoke on long flights to Asia after Northwest Airlines had banned smoking on domestic flights many years previously. Go to the SFELP Recent ETS News site for a news article on this case, and for direct links to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court decision.

Source: Jim Bergman
Smoke-Free Environments Law Project
The Center for Social Gerontology
Ann Arbor, Michigan


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