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(   $10.1 billion judgment against Phillip Morris works out to $13,100 per hour for legal team   ( divider line
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52 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Apr 2003 at 7:18 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2003-04-06 12:04:28 PM  
Man that is just ridiculous, although that's not the worst I've heard. Good ol Peter Angelos (owner of the Baltimore Orioles) had struck a deal with Maryland that would pay him 25% of any judgement against the tobacco companies. Well that 25% worked out to $1 Billion, and that's after his case got thrown out of court. After it was thrown out governor Spendening, and the MD attorney general successfully pushed legislation reinstating the case under revised rules that essentialy guaranteed victory, and last I heard had reduced Petes pay out to a paltry $375 million for doing nothing.
2003-04-06 01:14:23 PM  
Why don't they just make cigarettes illegal? That's always worked wonders in the past. All though it will be funny years from now when tobacco companies can no longer stay in business, and state governments are deprived of the enormous tax revenue.
2003-04-06 03:20:38 PM  
I have no sympathy for the tobacco companies or the asshats who get themselves addicted.
2003-04-06 03:34:16 PM  
One of my biggest complaints about these lawsuits is that they are making lawyers rich.
2003-04-06 03:56:24 PM  
A famous lawyer found himself at heaven's gates confronting St. Peter. He protested that it was all a mistake -- he was only 49 and far too young to be dead.

"That's odd," said St. Peter, "according to the hours you've billed you're 119 years old."

A man who had been caught embezzling millions from his employer went to a lawyer seeking defense. He didn't want to go to jail. But his lawyer told him, "Don't worry. You'll never have to go to jail with all that money." And the lawyer was right. When the man was sent to prison, he didn't have a dime.
2003-04-06 07:22:21 PM  
I've never understood how you could smoke, get cancer, and then sue the tobacco industry. I mean, you volentarly smoked, so you alone are really the only one to blame.
2003-04-06 07:23:54 PM  
It's good work if you can get it.
2003-04-06 07:23:55 PM  
Although I am not a fan of cigarette companies...or John Travolta, I will pray fervently for the painful, slow and ugly deaths of ANY jackass who chooses to sue another for their own retarded mistakes. I hope they never have a hacking coughless sleep again.

The bastards.
2003-04-06 07:26:56 PM  
I smoke. These lawsuits are farking stupid. I swear, you'd think the companies had been packaging them with the statement "Contains 100% of the US RDA for Vitamin C" or something.
2003-04-06 07:27:04 PM  
As a smoker, I take full responsibility for any cancer that might be festering in my lungs. I chose to smoke, and I hate it when people won't take responsibility for their own actions. Especially since there's a million ways to quit these days. Suing the tobacco industry for getting sick is just as dumb as those fat-asses suing McDonald's for serving greasy burger-like sandwiches. Own up to your own stupidity, people!
2003-04-06 07:28:40 PM  
"I will pray fervently for the painful, slow and ugly deaths of ANY jackass who chooses to sue another for their own retarded mistakes"

What does that have to do with this case? This is about the so-called low tar cigarettes not actualy being low tar. They just threw in some vents to throw off the machines that tested the smoke. Actual smokers just inhaled more deeply or held the smoke longer. There was no reduction in tar or nicotine in the topbacco itself. While there have been many frivolous tobacco lawsuits, this is not one of them. Philip Morris did defraud consumers.
2003-04-06 07:30:39 PM  
All lawyers must die, SOON!
2003-04-06 07:32:08 PM  
Anyone who thought low-tar cigarettes were killing them any slower is stupid. As a smoker and a law student, this entire ordeal is rather sad.
2003-04-06 07:33:37 PM  
"Anyone who thought low-tar cigarettes were killing them any slower is stupid."

Why is assuming a cigarette wich is advertised as containing less tar and nicitine is healthier stupid? Isn't that common sense?
2003-04-06 07:33:58 PM  
Bitter about lawyers making lots of money? Last I heard law schools were still accepting new applicants :)
2003-04-06 07:35:14 PM  
Dr. Evil: "Here's the plan. We get the tobacco companies and we hold the world ransom MILLION dollars"
Number Two: "Uh huh hum. Well don't you think we should
maybe ask for more than a million dollars? A million dollars
isn't exactly a lot of money these days. Phillip Morris alone makes over nine billion dollars a year"
Dr. Evil: "Really?"
Number Two: "Uh huh!"
Dr. Evil: "That's a lot. Okay then. We hold the world ransom hundred BILLION dollars!"
2003-04-06 07:37:10 PM  
Note to juries: You're not so much punishing corporations as you are enriching lawyers.
2003-04-06 07:38:15 PM  
Quick double take here,That's $13,100 per hour per person on the legal team.
OK,as you were,on with the lawyer jokes.
2003-04-06 07:38:57 PM  
i've smoked in the past. cigarrettes, clove cigarrettes, cigars, lettuce cigarrettes (a light alternative), an doobies.

i don't smoke anymore because i feel sick after smoking, and i know that smoking another cigarrette will just make the sickness go away, that is until i finish that cigarrette. however, i do smoke when i'm on my way to getting drunk (not plastered, but just mildly amusingly drunk), so i don't have to feel the nasty effects. and also, i only smoke when i'm offered a cigarrette.

personally, i like the taste of clove smokes and the smell of doobies. i can't smoke as much as i used to because i don't like it anymore. it sucks. i like breathing fresh air. anyway, that's my rant on cigarrettes.

regarding the case, i think it's rediculous that lawyers make so much money while teachers don't make that much money. i can't blame the cancer victims for suing, mainly because i see their suing because they can, not because they get monetary compensation for pretty much nothing. it's like if i trip and fall on the sidewalk, and sue the city for not making a sign that warns me that i could fall on the sidewalk. it's common sense, stupid people. if you're sucking in hot smoke from god knows what plant into your lungs, god knows what's going to happen to you. if you're willing to take that risk to get buzzed, well, then you should also take the risk of getting cancer. it's common sense. use cigarrettes at your own personal responsability.
2003-04-06 07:39:22 PM  
Note to tobacco companies: you're not so much killing people as you are enriching HMOs.
2003-04-06 07:39:54 PM  
I guess "stupid" was a bit strong of a word to use when thinking about how woefully addicted the victims were (since the 'baccy companies did lie about nicotine levels), but I don't agree that common sense would dictate that you were really doing your lungs a favor by smoking something because it said it had less tar in it.
2003-04-06 07:40:02 PM  
As a lawyer myself, I must ask, "And the problem with that would be?"
2003-04-06 07:40:44 PM  
So...let's sue the pants off the cigarette companies...I have no problem with this, but I don't think DIME ONE should go to any smokers. Diet Pepsi has less sugar than regular Pepsi, but if you drink it you are still putting garbage into your system. And all smokers have always known this.

These bastards would sue, regarless. Either ban them or stop taking the tax money. Its a two-way cash cow for the governement.
2003-04-06 07:41:32 PM  
04-06-03 07:30:39 PM CB
All lawyers must die, SOON!

Do you realize how many lawyers there are that don't just go around suing people for big money? Product liability and personal injury lawyers may be the ones that are in the news all the time, but they are hardly representative of the law field as a whole.
2003-04-06 07:41:43 PM  
You can't possibly be a lawyer,your post was concise and to the point.
2003-04-06 07:48:37 PM  
2003-04-06 07:48:39 PM  
suing--the american way of life...
2003-04-06 07:48:43 PM  
Yea, there's also politicians who are mostly lawyers...
2003-04-06 07:50:51 PM  
I'm not a lawyer and I dont smoke...My question is: How do I get in on this cash?
2003-04-06 07:54:01 PM  
Loudmouthsoup: "but I don't agree that common sense would dictate that you were really doing your lungs a favor by smoking something because it said it had less tar in it."

You don't agree common sense dictates that a cigarette with 12mg of tar an 1mg of nicotine is less harmful than a cigarette with 20mg of tar and 1.5mg of nicotine? I still don't see the fault in that logic.

This isn't about people suing because smoking caused cancer or other heath problems, it's about whether or not manipulating the FTC testing method to make it seem like certain cigarettes had less tar and nicotine when they really didn't then advertising them as healthier than normal cigarette constitutes fraud.
2003-04-06 07:54:04 PM  
As I sit here and ponder whether I should shave my tongue to help get rid of that post-Saturday night, Jack Daniels and cigarette flavor out of my mouth, I grow angry at anyone who sues over smoking. They were called coffin nails in the 1500's. Anyone who thought they weren't bad for them, low-tar or not, is an ass-sandwich and deserves to die. I used to smoke regularly, now only when wasted, but know fully well the repurcussions. I am sick of people feeling they aren't responsible for their actions, and feel this is the #1 symptom of what is wrong with our society.
2003-04-06 08:00:42 PM  
Mike Weath: are you related to one of the lawyers in the suit?

2003-04-06 08:01:52 PM  
CerebralParsley: No, I'm just one of the few people who both read and comprehended the article.
2003-04-06 08:03:27 PM  

Yes, but how do you feel about breast feeding crabs that smoke?
2003-04-06 08:04:46 PM  
Smoking is still smoking. No sympathy from me.

Elitist...are you?
2003-04-06 08:08:36 PM  
MWIf you stab me in the face with a knife having a blade length of 5 inches, it will kill me just as quickly as a blade with a length of 4.5 inches. Okay, maybe not just as quick, but, regardless, it won't be good for you.

Now, despite that, I guess I tend to agree with the latter part of your post. If the tobacco companies were really purporting through advertising that their cigs were "healthier" then that is probably actionable. Regardless, the whole thing is pathetic.
2003-04-06 08:09:06 PM  
People should be free to smoke, as long as they know and fully accept the consequences it should be fine.

The problem is the massive burden created by old smokers health problems.

If smokers were willing to pay for the ailments created by their decision to smoke then there shouldn't be a problem with it.

All you would be able to hear though are a chorus of "We didn't know! We didn't know!"
2003-04-06 08:13:48 PM  
Suing a tobacco company is retarded ... unless you quit smoking after the judgement. Think about it, you take 10 billion from Phillip Morris and they turn around and raise the price of cigarettes. In the end only the sleazy lawyers win out.
Worst story I've heard about lawyers regards some case about a confidence scam that got over 100 million out of old people. The asshat who was incharge ran off to Canada after being exposed. A small law company decided to start a class action against this guy. However, due to legal hurdles they ran of money and passed on the case to a richer, more prestigious law firm. This new firm settled for only 5 million or so (as compensation for the over 100 million stolen) after a month or so. They kept 1.5 million, gave the first law firm (that had actually done the hard work and spent all of their money in the process) nothing. Basically, they sold out all of the people they were representing and other lawyers. Damn, theirs honor even amongst thieves.
2003-04-06 08:14:43 PM  
theirs = there's for the grammar Nazi's
2003-04-06 08:17:25 PM  
That's why the US leads the world in productivity!
2003-04-06 08:18:42 PM  
Lawyers rule. God Bless America.
2003-04-06 08:24:30 PM  
Lawyers really don't deserve the kind of abuse they get. Do you have any idea what a company's primary incentive is to show reasonable care toward the safety of its products? It isn't government regulations. It isn't concern for the customer. It is the fear of lawsuit. All of you live in a safer world because the legal system allows injured parties to call negligent companies to account (unless you live in Mexico).

The legal system is not broken. Frivolous lawsuits account for a tiny, tiny percentage of what ultimately comes before the courts. But, it is in the interest of Big Business to make you think otherwise; they are in a very substantial public relations battle to make you think the system is broken. Why? It'll be a lot easier to sweep problems under the rug than to fix them. And, that translates into big bucks. Who cares if people are killed or injured in the process and have no proper remedy at law?
2003-04-06 08:36:54 PM  
A deal's a deal. The time for complaining about how high legal fees are is before one inks a contract stipulating an uncapped significant percentage plus expenses, not after.
2003-04-06 08:39:55 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2003-04-06 08:53:51 PM  
So let me get this article straight. They made 1.8 billion in legal fees for 135,000 hours work... To help two people get 17,000$ and 12,000$

2003-04-06 08:53:51 PM  
oh hey look, more biatching about lawyers!! WOW THIS NEVER GETS OLD!!! . . deal with it and shut the fark up.
any which way- yeah, a lawsuit about tobacco companies. *yawn*
2003-04-06 08:55:44 PM  
Eraser8: yea, right, and now a $50 ladder costs $300 because there's always one more dumbass and lawyer willing to ride his retarded gravy train
2003-04-06 08:58:14 PM  
"the goldurn lawyers blah blah blah"

The cigarette companies have plenty of bigshot, overpaid lawyers working for them, otherwise they would have been out of business in this country decades ago.
2003-04-06 09:09:24 PM  
If you can't beat em, join em.
2003-04-06 09:24:11 PM  
I suppose someone sued Common Sense Inc. a few years back and they went bankrupt
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