Utah Tobacco, Product liability and Settlement Claims
Before the 1970s, American Consumers did not know that tobacco was a link to certain kinds of cancer. Also, the tobacco industry knew at that time from research that it could cause cancer and instead warning American Consumers, they concealed this from the American people. Additionally, the tobacco industry put high amounts of nicotine into the product, knowing that it was an addictive substance to make tobacco and smoking cigarettes more addictive for its consumers to get them hooked.
They also put harmful toxins into cigarettes that also lead to bad health for consumers. Additionally, the tobacco industry was a master at advertising. They were infamous for the marlboro man cowboy and for the camel. Many tobacco advertisements were placed on billboards within the state of Utah as well as on commercials during prime-time events such as the superbowl. One such advertisement was of the marlboro man cowboy with the slogan, “marlboro country.” This advertisement was directly aimed at the western cowboy country style of Utah. Also, there were highly popular shows on TV and the radio for young children that involved cowboys.
Back then, the style was cowboy style. The tobacco industry used that style to show that included with the cowboy package was cigarettes. This was aimed at teens and adolescents. Teens and adolescents are still trying to find their footprint in life and want to be accepted. Peer pressure is a real thing in high school. They want to fit in. They want friends. They want to be acknowledged. As a result, the tobacco advertising had a high influence on teens and adolescents with the media they consumed. The tobacco industry even put advertising in comic books.
The ability to access cigarettes was easy as well during that time. There were vending machines that children could go to at gas stations and purchase cigarettes for free for 50 cents. As a result of the increasing awareness, lawsuits started ensuing for product liability. This was based off the failure to warn on the product of its harmful substances. This was also based off the negative health results that people were taking on as well from its harmful substances. The State of Utah among other states initiated a lawsuit on behalf of the citizens of Utah.
In 1998, the State of Utah reached an agreement with the tobacco industry to settle the claims for the advertising the occurred within the country. Much funding from that went to discretionary funding for the state for research for cancer as well as for things such as drug court and medicaid funding and to the attorney general’s office for enforcement of the settlement agreement.
As a result of the settlement agreement, individuals that are harmed from the substance, that have been diagnosed with a debilitating disease, and did not know of the adverse effects of the substance may have a claim for the injuries that they have incurred as a result of the harmful substance. If one has been diagnosed by a doctor and in the past have tried to quit, may have a viable chance at recovery. Our office works in this area to ensure that individuals are properly compensated for their claims. Please reach out to us if you want to speak further about the particulars of your case and the possible viabilities of your claim.