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January 19, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
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Featured Program

An Update on Tobacco Litigation
Last Featured: 11/13/2006

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

Fifty years ago the first lawsuits against big tobacco were filed. While it’s been nearly eight years since the landmark settlement between tobacco companies and the states, litigation continues in both federal and state courts about the hazards of smoking. This term the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether courts may impose a large damage award against Philip Morris in order to punish it for hiding the dangers of cigarettes. And state courts are deciding whether the marketing of “light” cigarettes violates state consumer protection laws. Join us on this edition of Justice Talking as we take a look at tobacco litigation and consider whether justice has been served by the lengthy legal wrangling over cigarettes.

Interview with a Winning Team
Host Margot Adler speaks with a plaintiff who successfully sued a tobacco company for damages, and the lawyer who helped him win.

John Eastman is a former radio and television personality in Tampa Bay, Florida. A former smoker, he sued Philip Morris and was the first person to receive payment from the company in an individual lawsuit.

Howard Acosta is a trial lawyer in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has sued tobacco companies about 150 times, more than any other lawyer in the county. He represented John Eastman in his case against Philip Morris.

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Interview with a Medical Scholar
Host Margot Adler interviews professor and tobacco historian Allan Brandt about the remarkable rise in popularity of smoking during the 20th century.

Allan M. Brandt is the Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has recently completed a new book on the social and cultural history of cigarette smoking in the U.S., The Cigarette Century, to be published by Basic Books in 2007.

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Debate on the Issue: Punitive Damages
Tort reform advocate Sherman Joyce and tobacco liability lawyer Edward Sweda square off over questions of corporate liability and legal damages in state and federal lawsuits.

Sherman Joyce is president of the American Tort Reform Association, a national coalition of over 300 nonprofits, professional societies, trade associations, and corporations working through in-state coalitions to bring fairness and efficiency to the tort system.

Edward Sweda is the senior attorney for the Tobacco Control Resource Center and the Tobacco Products Liability Project, divisions of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University. He was a contributing author for "Reducing Tobacco Use," a 2000 surgeon general report, and has authored or co-authored numerous articles on tobacco and the law.

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A Review of Tobacco Lawsuits
Professor and author Robert Rabin recounts the history of tobacco liability litigation.

Robert L. Rabin is the A. Calder Mackay Professor of Law at Stanford University. He is the editor with Stephen D. Sugarman of Regulating Tobacco and Smoking Policy: Laws, Politics and Culture.

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Report from Vermont
Reporter Kerry Seed tells the story of Vermont's attempt to sue R.J. Reynolds over a new product and its allegedly deceptive advertising campaign.

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Following the Money
Host Margot Adler speaks with Daniel McGoldrick about the Master Settlement Agreement that distributed millions of dollars of tobacco money to the states.

Daniel McGoldrick is the vice president for research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The Campaign’s mission is to promote policies and programs that prevent kids from smoking, help adult smokers quit, and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Phillip Morris USA Inc. v Williams
Master Settlement Agreement
Department of Justice Tobacco Lawsuit
FDA V. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp
BMW of North America, Inc. v Gore
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co v. Campbell
Tobacco Control Archives
American Tort Reform Association
Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute
Tobacco Control Recourse Center
The American Legacy Foundation
Action on Smoking and Health
Tobacco On Trial
Mass Tort Litigation Blo
The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary
A Question of Intent: A Great American Battle with a Deadly Industry
by David A. Kessler
Punitive Damages: How Juries Decide
by Cass R. Sunstein, Reid Hastie, John W. Payne, and David A. Schkade
Regulation Through Litigation
by Kip Viscusi
The Cigarette Papers
by Stanton A. Glantz, John Slade, Lisa A. Bero, and Peter Hanauer
The Law and Infectious Disease
Is There a Right to Health Care?
Have Health Officials Become the Diet Police?