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First Trial Kicks Off In New Wave Against Big Tobacco

Law360 (January 29, 2009, 12:00 AM EST) -- A lawsuit accusing Philip Morris USA Inc. of concealing the addictive properties of nicotine began in a Florida court Thursday, marking the first in a likely wave of individual product liability and wrongful death claims against Big Tobacco in the months to come.

The suit in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit of Florida was filed in 2007 by Elaine Hess, who claims that the 1997 death of her husband, Stuart Hess, from lung cancer was caused by his addiction to the nicotine in cigarettes.

Stuart Hess smoked...
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