LITIGATION: Stubbed, but Not Out

Stubbed, but Not Out

Anti-tobacco forces cheered in 1988 when a federal court in Newark ruled for the first time that a cigarette manufacturer could be held liable for the death of a smoker. The court awarded $400,000 to the widowed husband of Rose Cipollone, who died of cancer in 1984 at 58. But last week a federal appeals court in Philadelphia threw out the landmark verdict, ruling that the lower court erred by excluding certain lines of questioning that might have favored the tobacco company.

The Cipollone family and other would-be plaintiffs may find some encouragement in the latest decision. The lower-court ruling was...

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