Big Tobacco Plans to Stand Up to Lawsuits

Big Tobacco is at it again. With 8,000 cases filed by smokers who are ill, or the survivors of smokers, the tobacco industry vows it will not quit fighting.

Lewis Specland, 82, even made an offer to settle after another smoker won a $2.2 million claim in a Palm Beach County Circuit Court on behalf of her late husband.

Specland has emphysema and is afraid after 50 years of smoking he will not live long enough to get to court. The tobacco industry did not even acknowledge his offer, reports the Palm Beach Post.

Keep the clock ticking and some plaintiffs will just fade away they figure.

If settlements were made across the board of about $150,000, the tobacco industry would be out $1.2 billion, a fraction of the $145 billion awarded in a Miami class-action case representing 8,000 smokers.

And consider what Big Tobacco is paying out in a fleet of high earning attorneys to fight plaintiffs with all they have. Keep fighting and even a favorable award can be overturned on appeal.

So far there have been 22 Florida tobacco lawsuits that have favored plaintiffs since February 2009. Big Tobacco has lost all but three and the average award was $22 million.

The Palm Beach Post reports tobacco executives have no intention of paying what the juries have awarded. There is a saving grace. Tobacco companies will have to pay attorney’s fees for the plaintiffs who do make it to trial and receive a jury award.