English judge rules that smokers' claims are “too late”BMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7182.481a (Published 20 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:481
- Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
The litigation by a group of people with lung cancer against two British tobacco companies was dealt a severe blow in the High Court last week.
The High Court ruling in nine “lead” cases probably means that 36 of the 52 plaintiffs are barred from suing Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher because they launched their claims too late,and the small numbers remaining will make it uneconomic to continue. Ironically, the ruling came only days before a smoker in California was awarded $50m (£31.25m) in punitive damages …