If you have been diagnosed with a tobacco related illness or disease, or if someone close to you has died due to a tobacco related illness or disease, you may have the legal right to obtain compensation for your injuries, loss of wages and other losses. Lawsuits have been filed alleging tobacco companies manufactured and sold cigarettes in a dangerous condition because the cigarettes were not accompanied with adequate warnings. Lawsuits also allege the tobacco companies fraudulently denied and concealed the significant health risks, including nicotine addiction, of smoking.
In 1998, the Attorneys General of 46 states signed the tobacco settlement agreement, officially known as the Master Settlement Agreement, with the four largest tobacco companies in the United States to settle state lawsuits to recover costs associated with treating smoking-related illnesses. According to the Agreement, the tobacco industry is projected to pay the settling states in excess of $200 billion over the next 25 years. The states of Florida, Minnesota, Texas and Mississippi settled their tobacco cases separately from the Master Settlement Agreement states. Since 1998, additional manufactures have signed the agreement.
The agreement fundamentally changed the way tobacco products are advertised, marketed and promoted in the United States providing numerous restrictions and prohibitions, including: bans on the use of cartoons in tobacco advertisements, youth exposure to sampling, certain sponsorships, and the use of most outdoor advertisements. The tobacco companies also agreed to finance a $1.5 billion anti-smoking campaign, open previously secret industry documents, and disband industry trade groups which Attorneys General maintain conspired to conceal damaging research from the public.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 440,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $75 billion in direct medical costs. Nationally, smoking results in more than 5.6 million years of potential life lost each year. Approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 4,000 young people under the age of 18 try their first cigarette. More than 6.4 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents — the decision to smoke cigarettes.
Tobacco related personal injury cases are usually complex and expensive. You should always consult a qualified, licensed lawyer. You may contact the sponsoring law firm below to discuss the injury or schedule a free consultation. These personal injury cases are normally handled on a contingency basis. Typically there are no fees unless the lawyer obtains a settlement or award for you.
Where can I get legal advice about my Accident Injury issue or case?
If you have an Accident Injury matter or case and want legal advice for your specific situation, call the law firm below to schedule an initial consultation.
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