Jury Finds Tobacco Industry Not Liable In Secondhand Smoke Case
A Mississippi jury deliberated for two hours before deciding
that the tobacco industry was not liable for the lung cancer
that caused Burl Butler's death.
The verdict marks the second
time a secondhand smoke case has gone to jury, and both times
the tobacco industry has prevailed.
Lawyers for Burl Butler
argued that his exposure to secondhand smoke for 30 years in his
Laurel, Mississippi barbershop caused his cancer.
in 1994 at the age of 60. Tobacco lawyers argued that Butler
had a family history of cancer and that he had also been exposed
to asbestos in talcum power and methylene chlordie in hair
T. Roe Frazer, the Butler family lawyer, said "I still
believe we are right and environmental smoke is deadly. It's
just sad that this jury didn't feel like it needed to make that
Andrew McGaan, attorney for Brown & Williamson
Tobacco Corp., said in a prepared statement: "The industry
showed that credible evidence does not exist to show that ETS
(environmental tobacco smoke) causes lung cancer in nonsmokers
even at the highest levels likely to be encountered in real
Source: Reuters, (6/2/99), "Tobacco companies win second-hand smoke trial"
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