Cigarette Warning Labels Do Not Apply to Second-Hand Smoke SW Legal Educational Publishing

Cigarette Warning Labels Do Not Apply to Second-Hand Smoke
Description Shaw asserts that his lung cancer is due to years of exposure from riding in a truck with a smoker. He sued the cigarette maker claiming, among other things, failure to warn and misrepresentation due to lack of notice of risk of second-hand smoke. District court refused to dismiss the claims since the federal warning notice on cigarettes does not mention second-hand smoke dangers. (Updated 10-3-97)
Topic Torts
Key Words Cigarettes, Failure to Warn, Second-Hand Smoke
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Shaw was a long distance driver who, for eleven years, traveled in a truck with a co-worker who smoked cigarettes made by Brown & Williamson. Shaw never smoked but developed lung cancer that he alleges is a result of his exposure to second-hand smoke. He has sued for battery, defective design, negligence, breach of warranty, strict liability based on abnormally dangerous activity, misrepresentation, and other counts. B&W moved to dismiss several claims. B&W contended that the claims for misrepresentation and failure to warn are preempted by the federal law that requires health warning labels on cigarettes.
Decision Motion to dismiss due to preemption denied. The lists of risks of smoking discussed during the Congressional debates only concerned risks to the smoker, not to those subject to second-hand smoke. The warning on cigarette packages is directed at smokers, not second-hand smoke. (Most of the other counts were dismissed.)
Citation Shaw v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco, ---F.Supp.--- (1997 WL 484674, D. Mary.)
973 F.Supp. 539 (D., Mary., 1997)

Back to Torts Case Listing

©1997  South-Western, All Rights Reserved