You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 07, 2016, 08:13:53 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Florida Supreme Court Tosses Tobacco Settlement out, stating as 'Excessive'  (Read 3219 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline National AcrobatTopic starter

  • Elliquiy's Resident Heavy Metallurgist
  • Knight
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2005
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • Gender: Male
  • Black candles burn, all minds aligned
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,202366,00.html

145 Billiion Dollar award in Punitive Damages tossed as 'too excessive'.

I'm sure it's off to the US Supreme Court with this. They also decided that every individual smoker needs to bring their own case, not making it a Class Action anymore.

Offline Zakharra

 Anyone who started smoking after they put the warning signs on the cartons and packages should not be allowed to sue since they were warned of the risks.

Offline Apple of Eris

I'm not sure how I feel about this, though i think tossin the class action is probably a mistake. That'll tie up a bunch of court time if individuals decide to sue, provided they even have thr funds to do so. Big win for the tobacco companies though.

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Kids have been "warned" for years while being steeped in films and ads to convince them it will get them status and sex. 

I wonder if it isn't a little odd to insist that youth must be protected from sexuality on the one hand, and responsible for so many things that are marketed in sexualized terms on the other.

(I'm not assuming what Zak would say as far as children and sexuality.  But it's somewhat common for people that favor low consumer or worker protections to also support obscenity bans -- particularly within the conservative right.)

Actually, it's not just kids (and of course by now, many of them are no longer kids but have smoked for years, legally or not).  However, like McDonald's, the tobacco industry has made a point of targeting underage consumers.  These days, they simply do it more in Asia.



« Last Edit: July 07, 2006, 04:39:19 AM by kylie »

Offline National AcrobatTopic starter

  • Elliquiy's Resident Heavy Metallurgist
  • Knight
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2005
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • Gender: Male
  • Black candles burn, all minds aligned
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
I think the idea of a Class Action v. the Tobacco Companies, given the warnings and health risks, is totally off base. Each individual case varies, and in a lot of cases, people knew what they were doing.

Offline Swedish Steel

Nah, hit the cynical bastards where it hurts. They've profited from people's misery for decades now.

Offline Zakharra

 The problem is it's still legal to smoke them. And presumably, if you know the risks when you go into it, then it IS your fault if you get ill.   Unless they make it illegal, then I think the large class action suits like this one will be tossed out more and more, since people have been warned for at least the last 30 years.

 
Kids have been "warned" for years while being steeped in films and ads to convince them it will get them status and sex.

I wonder if it isn't a little odd to insist that youth must be protected from sexuality on the one hand, and responsible for so many things that are marketed in sexualized terms on the other.

(I'm not assuming what Zak would say as far as children and sexuality. But it's somewhat common for people that favor low consumer or worker protections to also support obscenity bans -- particularly within the conservative right.)

Actually, it's not just kids (and of course by now, many of them are no longer kids but have smoked for years, legally or not). However, like McDonald's, the tobacco industry has made a point of targeting underage consumers. These days, they simply do it more in Asia.

 Yeah, I've always thought that odd too. The double standard of selling things, based off of sex appeal.

Offline ZK

Well, it goes to show you, you can't win for being hypocrites. Heh heh. But yes, you shouldn't sue if they have a warning label and/or you know the dangers of such.

It's like fast food, if you get fat from eating a lot of fast food, should you sue the companies that make it for making you fat? No, you should not. It's your fault for eating that much unhealthy food.

And from what I've seen personally, those who suffer from emphysema and lung cancer are usually those who are heavy chain smokers [like my grandfather on my father's side was before he got emphaysema] or those who purposely seem to put themselves in heavy cases of second hand smoke. x.x

Offline National AcrobatTopic starter

  • Elliquiy's Resident Heavy Metallurgist
  • Knight
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2005
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • Gender: Male
  • Black candles burn, all minds aligned
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
One of my grandmothers died of Lung Cancer and Emphysema. However, she was also a chain smoker for fifty years, and she admitted she did it to herself, knowing the risks.

She never tried to stop. She would have never even thought about suing the Tobacco Companies, because she knew it could kill her.

Smoking is a choice, and you deal with the consequences. Smoking is legal and dangerous, you roll the dice when you do. I should know, I smoke an occasional cigar here and there, but I quit smoking cigarettes roughly fifteen years ago because I knew that if I kept smoking, it wouldn't be good. I used to smoke two packs a day when I quit cold turkey.

Offline Apple of Eris

Pert of the problem, despite the warning label is this:

1. Targeting children and minors - Children and minors by law are essentially defined as being incapable of making proper decisions fr themselves, hence the need for a parent or guardian in making large decisions (medical, entering contracts, etc).

2. Cigarettes are addictive - Tobacco companies knowingly and willfully add addictive substances to ensure a continuing base of customers


When you put both together, Targeting children who, despite warning labels and such can not be held solely accountable for making such a bad decision with the facts that tobacco companies make their products addictive...

Sounds like a win to me, and why the companies lost in the first place.

The real question is, was the punitive damage awarded excessive? That's hard to say. I'd want more information on the medical expenses of the various plaintiffs, the financial status and incomes of the defendants, and to compare other cases for amounts of damages awarded.

I also wonder if the SCOTUS will be hearing this case soonand what their decision will be. I'm thinking they'll probably uphold the Florida Courts decision on a 5-4 split since the court leans rightward, who knows though, I might be suprised.

Offline RubySlippers

People here do forget the courts also must protect the companies being sued a court cannot unfairly and unjustly destroy a public company with an award. This award would have forced companies into bankrupcy protection in some cases and then they would not see any money if they survived.

As for individual cases that is still able to be done just they ruled since each individuals health history is unique they must be treated individually, a fair ruling. As for the Supreme Court since this was a FLorida case I believe they must find a Federal Action to take it to that level of the courts, it seems to me unlikely.

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
People here do forget the courts also must protect the companies being sued a court cannot unfairly and unjustly destroy a public company with an award. This award would have forced companies into bankrupcy protection in some cases and then they would not see any money if they survived.

 

Ah, but justice is such a subjective judgment.  Lots of competing variables to cite in cases that affect so much of the population.

Quote
As for individual cases that is still able to be done just they ruled since each individuals health history is unique they must be treated individually, a fair ruling.


I don't know enough about the established basis for class action lawsuits, that is IF we're going to fuss about what has previously been taken for legal.  The basis of many rulings seems to rely on "precedent" --  yet at one time or another, slavery, prohibition and burnings at the stake could all find plenty of precedent.  If that is the central issue.  Public opinion and writings of the day (all those "friend of the court" memos?  theoretical stuff?)  also make a difference, I presume.

It seems to me that most individuals will have a very difficult time marshalling the resources to compete with a large company.  And if they could, then the courts would be clogged with all the cases.  So a class action suit sounds reasonable on this basis. 

The ruling also has limited social weight if it can't really disrupt the company's operations.  Although some individual winners might have suffered enough to secure funds to start a small rehab or activist foundation.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2006, 07:26:28 PM by kylie »

Offline Jefepato

When you put both together, Targeting children who, despite warning labels and such can not be held solely accountable for making such a bad decision with the facts that tobacco companies make their products addictive...

I was fully capable of deciding "I don't want to get addicted and die of cancer, so I won't smoke" when my age was still in the single digits.  And believe me when I say that I was never more sensible than my peers.

Advertising is not mind control.  Kids do stupid things (I certainly did), but they're not too dumb to know what smoking will do to them -- and if they are, it's their parents/guardians' job to stop them, not the tobacco companies'.

Offline Zakharra

 Alcohal is legal, and addictive, yet the alcohal companies are not being sued. There is a point when the user is responsible for her/his own actions. It's their choice wether they want to keep doing the personal destructive things that they do or quit. It's not the company's responsibility to play nursmaid.

Offline YankeeGent

When 145 Billion is deemed excessive, the American legal system is failing.

[/sarcasm]

I mean, shit.

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Alcohol does not impact surrounding people in the same way as cigarette smoke.  While it may present a social disruption, it does not present a direct health risk to many passers-by.  (If you think cars and factories are a greater risk, you might be right.  Care to talk about how to deal with those too, instead of taking it for granted?)

Here you have an industry that has made _huge_ amounts of money selling a product widely thought to be _primarily_ (not just sometimes) harmful, a product with an area effect, and also an industry that has both glamourized that product and often misrepresented the degree of harm involved.  Check out all the claims about filters and levels of chemicals.

If you think that sexualized advertising is problematic, then you have to concede that _much_ of the advertising industry is crossing your line for minors.  Sex is a major, major theme for many sorts of advertising.  Personally, I'm concerned that youth are often not educated about 1) sexuality as a set of evolutionary and practical topics and 2) about the ways advertising is generally constructed and seeks to influence them.  You might say that is up to parents, but I think many of those parents are caught in a social trap that says 1) children must not hear about sex too early and 2) 'material wealth and advertising are simply the way of the world, business will do as it will.  If my child wants all sorts of material stuff, well so does everyone else...  Better he or she is ambitious and materialistic, because I don't feel I can control the amount of cancer-causing stuff out there for him or her to buy/breathe anyway.'

It's not consistent for people to express upset with advertising, and yet go along with social mores like those, which give it free reign.  When that happens, the consumers don't end up with an _informed_ choice.  They buy themselves an environment where the companies are allowed to keep adding harmful stuff - and to keep advertising it in devious ways - until the market is saturated with unpleasant choices.  Often they do so by gut reaction, and without giving it a whole lot of thought.  (Jules Henry's _Culture Against Man_ is one good book on this.)  So unless you prefer a dumb, so-called "free" society burying itself over a thoughtful one that sustains human life at higher quality (quality, not just years on medication)...

If you believe the social state of "nature" is always bad, you will bring this situation upon yourself.  But such a decision is limited to a specific politics in certain industrial societies.  It comes from resignation toward greed and a lowered quality of life.  That is to say, lower in many respects than herding societies (herders have less pollution, more exercise, and more free time).  If _all_ you want in life is a harsh state of nature, isn't there still a jungle somewhere that people can have a fair chance at hunting wild boars.  I don't see the need for a crueler existence where there are no healthy boars to hunt, and more sickly humans that only hunt money.  Unless you're in the camp that has the most money.  They get to soak up their perqs today, forget the cost tomorrow, and buy themselves homes wherever the air doesn't stink yet.  Not that I'm voting for a generally harsh social order as supposed proof of my own value, to begin with.

And for those who would suggest I must be fooling myself: I don't smoke, I don't drink (although I might prefer it to smoking), I don't even do soft drugs (which I doubt are so harmful).   I worry about the health value of foods I can afford (organic tends to be expensive), but I believe I've improved my diet significantly.   And I repeat, I take mass transit.  It can be done.  It could be done better if more people would try it.  And at least on mass transit: the Earth would be more friendly to us and to your children. 

« Last Edit: July 08, 2006, 03:18:23 AM by kylie »

Offline Elvi

I have just posted this on a similar thread and thought that you may be interested in it as well, as advertising and the fact that some of you think that children can no longer be influenced by tobacco companies.

Thought you may like to see this, on sale and legal and quite happily sold throughout the world.

http://www.smokes-spirits.com/productdetails.aspx?product=4002&store=18

The thinking behind it goes like this:
Children like candy.
Parents let children eat it.
Tobacco company lend their support to the making of this candy and allow their brands colours and names to be changed slightly to add an authentic look.
Children buy and enjoy and by the nature of the candy in question they suck on it.
Later in life, adults walk past a tobacconists window and see something that reminds them of their childhood, same colours, same name (well almost), it reminds them of comfort, of being relaxed and happy.
Now I am not saying that every child is going to smoke just because they had candy cigarettes when they were kids, but this is subliminal advertising and it starts young.

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
*nods*  I seem to recall in the film Super Size Me, McDonald's was busily advertising their oh-so-healthy (not) products using similar child-appealing, color-coded and toy-wielding tactics.  Not to mention birthday parties and cartoon characters.

There is also the matter of the religious quality of advertising.  Commercials in the US are often set up in the form: look at this terrible social problem (ring around the collar, lawn not looking so smart as the Joneses', what have you); followed by basically, "if only you were bright enough to adopt our shining new product, behold the miracles and your world is swept back to glory while others crumble to shameful dust."  It's hardly all about calculated choice, even for adults who supposedly know better.  How many of them are taking time to read analyses of how these expensive, sound-bite productions get so many to buy so much stuff they 'hate'?

While there must be plenty of writings on this: off the top of my head, Neil Postman has a very readable section toward the end of _The Disappearance of Childhood_.  Itself a fascinating introduction to the history of shifting notions about what young ages might or should mean.  (I think the first half is more scientific than the second, but still.)

 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2006, 03:45:52 AM by kylie »

Offline ZK

145 Billion, what, deaths? Of course it's excessive if that is the death count, if it was, the Earth would have been dead over twenty four times. Or is that the number for the class action lawsuit? Well, that is quite much, but, the same thing goes. Can't be a hero by being a hypocrite.

Offline Zakharra

 The 145 billion is the amount of money the companies were going to have to pay the plaintiffs, in this case, the smokers.  That's what was struck down by the Florida Supreme Court as exessive. 

Offline ZK

That's what I meant by number. I swear, I need to get a new keyboard. I've typed things and they either come out with typos or the word doesn't even enter. x.x Oh well, I've used this damn thing so much all the written letters are smudged off and some of the keys have physical warps in their plastic!

But on topic, no one should sue if it was due to their -own- mistake of using the product in the first place. That's their fault, not the company who manufactures the said vice.

Offline Zakharra

 Lol. The same thing happens to me on my keyboard. I'm constantly fixing typos.

 Yes, what you say makes sense.

Offline ZK

The only thing they're guilty of, truly, is targeting a younger audiance. But, if they want their products to sell, they have to target to the newer generations...only if it wasn't for those so young and for those who came of age of. "You're legal to do this now! You have the choice to smoke these or not."

^.^


To emphasize on what I'm trying to say, is they should be targeted to the audiance of those who could have more sensible choices in what they wish to do instead of instilling the ignorance and pleasure in a younger audiance.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2006, 09:14:44 AM by Z.K. »

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
All these assumptions that all the adults are soooo sensible.  I don't buy it.

If you grow up in a way that you're taught that you must choose between convenience and personal gratification or healthy and sustainable orders, and you're shown that most everyone who is a rational, sexy, successful adult has chosen the first set of things, and your time for reflection is externally limited -- then the game is loaded.  It's not just parents, it's the (mis)leading socioeconomic order of the day. 

People may expect you to be "adult" without really saying much about how sensible that is.  Much of the time it's downright goofy.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2006, 05:13:53 PM by kylie »

Offline ZK

I'm not saying all adults are sensible, mature, well standing individuals. A lot are not. I'm simply stating that the methods they use to advertise are targeting children [during the stages of their developement of what is right, what is wrong, and various other cognitive  skills] is wrong.