November 30, 2012
Tobacco's Long Delay in Warning of Health Risks:
While the dangers of cigarette smoking are now widely known, there was a time when this information was not common knowledge. There are those who began smoking many years ago, during a time when powerful cigarette companies deceived the public by concealing the addictive and harmful nature of cigarettes. Although tobacco companies were forced in 1965 to begin warning of the serious risks associated with smoking, these warnings have come too late for some.
A Federal Judge Orders Tobacco Companies to Admit Deception
Despite being ordered to warn of the dangers of smoking, tobacco companies continued to deliberately mislead the public through their advertisements. In November of 2012, a federal judge ordered the major tobacco companies to pay for corrective advertisements, admitting they actually deceived the American public for decades. According to CNN and USA Today , the required advertisements include admissions that smoking kills more people than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes and alcohol combined, and that nicotine actually changes the brain, which is why quitting is so hard.
Risks Associated with Cigarettes:
The FDA reports that "Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, responsible for 443,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and costs our economy nearly $200 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity."
Multiple other health risks have been associated with smoking, the most grave of which include: Cancer (including oral and lung cancer), Emphysema, difficulty breathing and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Heart Disease, Stroke, and Fetal Injury.
Help for Those Who Were Not Warned Before They Began Smoking:
If you began smoking prior to the first cigarette warnings in 1965 and now suffer from any of the conditions described, you may be entitled to compensation, including past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, and other non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
In CA, the legal deadline to file a personal injury or product liability lawsuit is 2 years from the date of an injury, or the date the injury could reasonably have been discovered. However, just last year, the California Supreme Court ruled that even if the deadline to file a lawsuit from one type of smoking related injury has passed, this does not prohibit a person from later filing a lawsuit for a separate type of smoking related injury (even though both injuries were caused by the same tobacco use over the same period of time). To understand the legal deadlines related to smoking, and determine if your claim has merit, it is essential that you not delay in seeking legal advice. We welcome your call for a prompt and free initial evaluation of your case at the law offices of O'Mara and Padilla. 858.481.5454.
This post is published by The Law Offices of O'Mara and Padilla, specialists in Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Product Liability matters. Authored by Christine Padilla.