CALIFORNIA: STATE LIKELY TO FILE SUIT AGAINST INDUSTRY
State Attorney General Dan Lungren (R) is expected to fileThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
suit today against the tobacco industry "to recoup hundreds of
millions of dollars in California's tobacco-related medical
costs," Los Angeles Times reports. The announcement is expected
to come today as Gov. Pete Wilson (R) "signs a bill that
specifically grants the attorney general the authority to sue
cigarette manufacturers." Sean Walsh, a spokesperson for Wilson,
said, "We have requested that the attorney general immediately
file a lawsuit for the costs of health care services for those
who have suffered from tobacco-related illness." Lungren has
resisted filing suit in the past, citing "a 1987 state law
exempting tobacco from some types" of lawsuits (see AHL 4/4)
(Morain, 6/12). Lungren said that the legislation to be signed
by Wilson "clears up the legal confusion and paves the way for a
lawsuit (Lucas, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/12).
The lawsuit "is expected to include claims for violations of
state antitrust laws for failing to develop a safer cigarette."
It is also expected to charge that the industry practiced "false
advertising and fraud for concealing information about the
addictive nature of nicotine and for targeting children" (Times,