Miami, Fl (PRWEB) April 10, 2007
The law firm of J.B. Harris P.A., whose new site is located at http://suebigtobacco.net, is suing "Big Tobacco" in Florida on behalf of individuals harmed by cigarettes.
Under a recent landmark decision issued by the Florida Supreme Court in the case of Engle v. Ligget, somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 smokers in Florida now have the right to sue tobacco companies for certain tobacco related diseases. Minorities should take note.
As early as the 1960's, tobacco companies began deliberately targeting minorities through sophisticated ads to hook society's most vulnerable: the poor, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and even gays and lesbians.
The archives of the tobacco companies contain thousands of incriminating documents showing how cigarette makers knew of the addictive nature of cigarettes, and the dangerous side effects of smoking, but nevertheless concealed this information from the public and continued to market their products to minority youth, even those well below the age of consent. The ruling in Engle v. Liggett has turned the tide against the tobacco companies in Florida.
Originally filed as a Florida class action, the Supreme Court disbanded the class, but has allowed individuals to proceed against the tobacco companies.
To appreciate the importance of this ruling, those injured by cigarettes must recognize the unprecedented nature of the Engle decision. Until now, courts have always required plaintiffs to prove that cigarettes caused cancer, and that cigarette companies deceptively failed to warn smokers of the dangers of using their products.
Now, for the first time, the Florida Supreme Court has determined as a matter of law that tobacco companies committed fraud, were negligent, and concealed from consumers the addictive nature and dangers of smoking in order to sell more cigarettes.
As a result, folks harmed by cigarettes need only prove that smoking caused their own illnesses to recover damages. No longer must they demonstrate the more difficult issues of the general hazards posed by smoking, as required under the old law, before proving that they too have suffered damages.
This ruling gives potential plaintiffs enormous leverage over the tobacco industry that they never had before. To qualify as a plaintiff under the new law, any Florida resident (or the estate of those deceased), who is afflicted with any of the following tobacco related illnesses, has the right to sue the tobacco companies on their own behalf, provided they contracted a disease on or before November 21, 1996, as required by the Florida Supreme Court.
If you meet this condition, you then must file a lawsuit against the tobacco companies on or before January 11, 2008, or within one year of the Engle decision, the deadline set by the Supreme Court. This date is fast approaching.
The diseases identified by the Supreme Court as being caused by smoking include:
- Aortic Aneurysm
- Bladder Cancer
- Cerebrovascular Disease
- Cervical Cancer
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Esophageal Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Laryngeal Cancer
- Complications of pregnancy
- Oral Cavity - Tongue Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Lung Cancer (specifically: adenocarcinoma, large cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma).
Individuals who proceed against these merchants of death may be entitled to compensation in the form of lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering and future care. They may also be entitled to punitive damages against the tobacco companies for fraud, failure to warn, concealment of risk of addiction, and other damages amounting to criminal negligence that may be allowable under Florida law.
To determine whether you or someone you love qualifies as a plaintiff, please contact attorney J.B. Harris at e-mail protected from spam bots or by calling 786-303-8333. Further information about the firm and the court's ruling may be found at suebigtobacco.net .