CALIFORNIA: ASSEMBLY PASSES TOBACCO LAWSUIT BILL
"With overwhelming bipartisan approval," the CaliforniaThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Assembly passed a measure yesterday to help "clear a path to the
courthouse door for" the state to sue the tobacco industry to
recoup Medicaid funds spent treating smoking-related illnesses.
The bill, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamante (D), now
goes to the Senate for a vote. LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that
the bill would amend the state's product liability law to allow
the state and local governments to file suit against the tobacco
industry (Vanzi, 4/25). The Senate passed a similar measure last
week; however, the Senate bill would also allow individuals to
file suit against the industry (see AHL 4/18). Rob Stutzman, a
spokesperson for state Attorney General Dan Lungren (R), who has
"maintained that he needs a change in the law to take the tobacco
companies to court," said Lungren is "pleased legislation is
moving through the system" (TIMES, 4/25).