California Supreme Court Protects Consumers Against Efforts By Big Tobacco To Close The Courthouse to Class Action Lawsuits

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Supreme Court of California finds that consumers still have the right to seek class action status under California law.

Audet & Partners, LLP, a well known plaintiffs' consumer law firm, noted that the Supreme Court of California recently issued a pro-consumer ruling regarding Proposition 64 and found that consumers still have the right to seek class action status under California law. The ruling, In re Tobacco II Cases, 09 C.D.O.S. 5993, was published on May 18, 2009.

"We want to congratulate the fine work done by attorney Mark Robinson, a renowned fellow trial lawyer, for his excellent work in arguing the case before the California Supreme court" noted Audet & Partners, LLP founder William M. Audet. "Without a doubt, Mark Robinson's advocacy carried the day,"

At the heart of the case was whether Proposition 64, a 2004 California ballot proposition, was meant to severely limit class actions against the corporate wrongdoers. Ruling for the majority, Justice Carlos Moreno held that proposition 64 was meant to halt frivolous lawsuits and was not meant to weaken consumer protection laws, or otherwise halt class actions.

This new ruling will clarify a number of legal issues, and will reject the idea that in a class action, each and every class member will have to show "reliance" on a fraudulent act to win a class action. This will mean that the hundreds of thousands of California residents who have been harmed by tobacco companies may seek relief in court.

"This is a great day for all California residents who have lost money or have been seriously injured by the egregious conduct of large corporations" says William M. Audet.

About Audet & Partners, LLP:

Audet & Partners, LLP is a nationally recognized trial firm located in San Francisco and affiliated with firms throughout the United States. The firm attorneys have concentrated their practice on the prosecution of complex individual, mass tort and class action cases.

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Kevin Thomason
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