Supreme Court Rejects Public Hospitals’ Tobacco Appeal
The Supreme Court yesterday let stand a lower court ruling against Washington state public hospitals, which had sued the tobacco industry to recoup the "cost of treating smoking-related illnesses," Bloomberg News/Los Angeles Times reports. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that the hospitals' claims against several tobacco companies, including Philip Morris Co. and R.J. Reynolds Co., were "too remote" to warrant a trial and would require "unfounded speculation concerning damages." The Supreme Court denied the hospitals' appeal without comment. Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times reports that courts nationwide "generally" have rejected smoking-related claims by third parties not directly injured by tobacco, including hospitals, insurers and labor union health funds (Bloomberg News/Los Angeles Times, 10/2).