I have no problem with the tobacco companies being drawn and quartered for their lying to the public but what I a bit concerned with is the precedent being set by the tremendous award granted by the jury. There are now several million people addicted to tobacco and it is up to those companies to find a safer way to deliver the drug, something they might have a problem with when they have to pay such enormous fines.
How many other companies have lied to the public and endangered their lives? The auto industry produced several dangerous vehicles and sold them regardless of the hazards. (One famous car would turn over at low speeds - Corsair -, one truck had exposed saddle fuel tanks that blew up on impact, then the Pinto with rear end collisions, the Yugo would not pass any safety regulations today but was sold readily some years back. Seat belts were delayed for years, and the fiberglass construction of a Corvette still has some questioning survivability of a major crash.)
Major passenger aircraft refuse to provide emergency life rafts for those airplanes flying over the sea though the FCC has stated they need to.
Your major aircraft builders of commercial airplanes use a certain type of wiring that the FCC has stated they switch because the plastic coating will ignite with even a slight short circuit, burn furiously and give off a poisonous gas.
DDT is banned in America. We still produce it and send it to other nations. Now it is sent back to us in the form of vegetables from some of those nations. The importers know this, but neglect to tell us about it.
How about all of those grocery stores selling out of date fish and chicken? They dip the fish in a bleach mix to get rid of the stench. The chicken is usually hacked up, washed and repackaged. Sometimes it is cooked and sold like that. Sometimes it is covered with spices and packaged and offered as ‘preseasoned BBQ or Oven Roast.’
The list goes on and on and on.
Should each violator be sued for billions? If so, eventually you’ll go buy your pack of hot dogs with a bucket of those gold dollars.
Do you drink? See my previous post. How about $10 a beer? What do you think it would be like if the booze makers suddenly came under the fire that the tobacco companies and smokers have? It would not take much.
I have no problem with the tobacco companies being fined, however, I do have a problem with the size of the settlement. The first few doctors to be sued were moderately hit. Then people smelled money. After that, the doctors were hit for millions granted by juries who felt that the professionals were made of money. After that, people started suing hospitals, then drug companies and then the makers of medical supplies.
End result? The hospital charges you $10 for a Band-Aid. Your medical insurance has quadrupled in cost, some hospitals and doctors will turn you away if you cannot pay, and, for a time, doctors were afraid to stop and help accident victims on the road.
So, after the tobacco companies, who’s next?