Update: U.K. court rejects smoker’s lawsuit

Once again the inevitable worldwide triumph of tobacco litigation turns out to be not so inevitable after all: “In the first case of its kind in Britain, a judge rejected Margaret McTear’s attempt to sue Imperial Tobacco over the death of her husband Alf 12 years ago. … Lord Nimmo Smith, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, said the test case failed on every count. He ruled that Mr McTear knew what he was doing and there was no proof that his cancer was caused by a particular cigarette brand.” (Auslan Cramb, “Widow fails to pin blame on tobacco company”, Daily Telegraph, Jun. 1). Ever the gracious loser, Northeastern University lawprof-advocate and interest-nondiscloser Richard Daynard called the ruling “an extraordinarily ignorant opinion”: “The UK suffers from a conservative, narrow-minded judiciary who don’t know or don’t want to know the relevant medical and social facts,” he said. (Stephen Davis, “Smokescreen”, New Statesman, Jun. 27)($).

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