A board in Broward County, Florida, aftermost ages ordered Lorillard Tobacco (2012 rev.: $6.6 billion) to pay added than $3.5 actor in amercement to Richard Delisle, a above smoker whose accusation was not based on the archetypal dangers of cigarettes, but on the actuality that the Kent cigarettes he had smoked were abstemious with asbestos, which causes mesothelioma. The asbestos was present in about 13 billion Kents, which were awash amid March 1952 and May 1956 with Lorillard’s patented “Micronite” filter, which was fabricated out of cotton, acetate, ache cardboard and a decidedly baneful anatomy of asbestos alleged crocidolite.
Although Lorillard claims it got the abstraction of application crocidolite in its filters based on its use in gas masks fabricated for the Army, clarify architect Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V) was so anxious about accountability that it affected Lorillard to booty sole albatross for any “harmful effects” of the filters.
Worried about growing accessible affair that cigarettes account bloom problems, Lorillard launched the Kent cast by touting the Micronite clarify as alms “the greatest bloom aegis in cigarette history.” One advertisement misleadingly authentic Micronite as “a pure, dust-free, absolutely controllable material,” some ads emphasized that Kents relied on the latest in avant-garde technology, while ads aimed at physicians brash the Micronite clarify for “patients whom you accept acquainted answerable to admonish to cut bottomward or cut out smoking.”
Internal accumulated documents, meanwhile, acknowledge that admiral had acceptable acumen to accept the opposite. As aboriginal as April 1954, Lorillard advisers accepted to aggregation admiral W.J. Halley that “traces of mineral fiber” were present in the smoke acute “a affairs of attempting to assignment out a adjustment for the[ir] elimination.” Within bristles months, an H&V official additionally wrote of the charge “to acquisition a way of anchoring asbestos…All efforts are to be exerted to break the asbestos-dust-in-Kent smoke problem.” (emphasis added.)
Just two months later, H&V admiral A.K. Nicholson conceded “Lorillard’s acceptance that asbestos charge be alone from the Kent cigarette as anon as possible,” although his announcement absurdly abhorrent “a whispering attack started by their competitors of the adverse furnishings of asbestos.” Therefore, H&V would “discontinue that allotment of our analysis affairs adherent to the acclimation of asbestos fibres and absolute the absolute absorption of the affairs against the complete aishment of asbestos.”
Despite the accord accomplished amid its advisers and those of H&V, Lorillard said annihilation about about the risks of Micronite filters, kept application asbestos in them for addition 16 months, and connected to advertise absolute stocks of Kents for several added months afterwards that.
Given that history, it is not hasty that Lorillard has faced—and settled—many accountability lawsuits by above smokers like Richard Delisle, but it is abrupt that Lorillard and H&V accept won 17 of 23 such cases that went to trial. “They appeal hard,” said Timothy F. Pearce, who won a clarify case in 2011. “It’s no baby adventure to be in a balloon with them,” he said. “They had, like, 13 lawyers” alive on the case.
Lorillard pursues a two-pronged access to win the clarify cases. Despite the statements in the aggregation documents, aggregation summaries of testing done at the time appear “very, actual low,” acknowledgment to asbestos, as Lorillard science controlling Kevin H. Reinert testified in a deposition, additionally claiming not to “believe it added the risk.” Because Lorillard destroyed the aboriginal analysis reports, Plaintiffs accept to await on the accumulated summaries. Lorillard has additionally assassin advancing clandestine board who try to attenuate claims that a accustomed smoker absolutely aloof Kents amid 1952 and 1956, and additionally to dig up clay to accident attestant credibility.
To Learn More:
Legal Battles Smolder Six Decades Afterwards ‘the Greatest Bloom Aegis in Cigarette History’ (by Myron Levin, FairWarning)
Kent Cigarette Micronite Clarify Ad and Testimony (YouTube)
Why is U.S. Still Importing Asbestos? (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Corporate Admiral Sentenced to Prison for Asbestos Deaths: Could it Happen in U.S.? (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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