The People Vs. Big Tobacco: How the States Took on the Cigarette Giants

by Carrick Mollenkamp (Author), Joseph Karl Menn (Author), Adam Levy (Author),

Joseph Menn (Author)

Editorial Reviews

After nimbly sidestepping any and all lawsuits for more than four decades, the
tobacco industry received what could prove to be a mortal blow when Merrell
Williams, a Louisville paralegal, stole thousands of pages of confidential
documents from the law firm where he worked and handed them over to Michael
Moore, the attorney general of Mississippi. These confidential documents proved
that the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, a client of the firm, knew the
dangers associated with smoking cigarettes, and that they had lied repeatedly to
the public about the risks. Once these documents were released via the Internet
and numerous anonymous mailings, the blood was in the water. A coalition of 65
top American trial lawyers attacked the tobacco industry from one side, while
Moore and 39 other states' attorneys general pounced from the other, eventually
resulting in a $368 billion settlement--the largest in American history. The
People Vs. Big Tobacco: How the States Took on the Cigarette Giants is a
blow-by-blow account of how the "Mother of All Lawsuits" was eventually settled,
who the major players were, and what the settlement actually means for the
future of Big Tobacco. The lawsuit settlement has since been railed by many
health organizations and policymakers as a sellout, but there is no doubt that
the tobacco industry has been permanently altered. Though more big-league legal
wrangling is sure to come, The People Vs. Big Tobacco is an excellent analysis
of the battle as it currently stands.

From Library Journal
The reporters from Bloomberg Financial Markets recount the events and often
dramatic negotiations between the CEOs of cigarette makers Philip Morris, RJR,
Brown and Williamson, Ligett, and Lorillar and a loosely federated alliance of
antismoking interests that resulted in a staggering $368.5 billion settlement
against the tobacco giants in June 1997. The cigarette makers, confronted by a
record number of pending lawsuits and a reelected President Clinton, reluctantly
recognized the need to compromise or face possible bankruptcy. The arrogant
miscalculations of the CEOs, the frustrations of attorneys on both sides, and
the role played by whistle-blowers and document snatchers are all vividly
retold, showing how that unlikely agreement was cobbled together. In addition to
the settlement, the tobacco industry lost much of its advertising privileges and
faced possible regulation by the Food and Drug Administration. This rousing,
readable account serves as a fine complement to Richard Kluger's Pulitzer
Prize-winning Ashes to Ashes (LJ 6/15/96). Highly recommended for public libraries.

Product Details

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Bloomberg Press; 1st ed edition (January 15, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1576600572



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