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Further reading on Weinstein's light-cigarette tobacco class action

Michael Krauss has already mentioned the ruling; he also discussed the case in more detail March 30. An earlier attempt by Weinstein to certify a tobacco class action was rejected by the Second Circuit in 2005. Today's ruling directly contradicts the Seventh Circuit's In the Matter of Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., Tires Products Liability Litig. ruling. Also worth reading is Justice Karmeier's concurrence (scroll down) analyzing an identical Illinois suit that the Illinois Supreme Court struck down after a bench-trial verdict for the plaintiffs.

Note that these light-cigarette class actions expressly disclaim personal injury claims; they are pure theories of "consumer fraud" that seek to aggregate plaintiffs whether or not the plaintiffs were actually misled by any alleged fraud, or suffered any injury. For much more on this subject, and the huge public-policy problems it creates, see Michael Greve, Harm-Less Lawsuits? What's Wrong with Consumer Class Actions, and Victor Schwartz's and Cary Silverman's recent, and very important, article in the Kansas Law Review, Common-Sense Construction of Consumer Protection Acts.



Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute


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The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.