Document Detail

Lawsuits and secondhand smoke.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14985619     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: This paper describes secondhand smoke (SHS) litigation over the past quarter century where non-smoking litigants have prevailed and attempts to decipher trends in the law that may impact the course of future cases. METHODS: Since the early 1980s, the author has sought and examined legal cases in which SHS exposure is an important factor. Law library searches using the official reporter system (for example, Shimp v. New Jersey Bell Telephone Co., 368 A.2d 408) have more recently been combined with computerised online searches using LexisNexis and Westlaw. The author has learned of other cases through personal correspondence and from articles in newspapers. Over 420 cases involving exposure to SHS were identified. Each case was reviewed and summarised. RESULTS: Since 1976, the year of the first reported SHS lawsuit, this type of litigation has increased both in number and in scope with increasing success. While it is common for initial cases to lose in a new area where the law eventually evolves, litigants and their lawyers who later bring similar cases can learn from those previous, unsuccessful cases. It is now apparent that the judicial branch has begun to recognise the need to protect the public-especially some of the most vulnerable members of our society-from the serious threat to their health that is exposure to SHS. CONCLUSIONS: Successful cases brought on behalf of individuals exposed to SHS produce an additional benefit for the public health by both paving the way for other non-smoking litigants to succeed in their cases and persuading business owners and others voluntarily to make their facilities 100% smoke-free.
E L Sweda
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Legal Cases; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Tobacco control     Volume:  13 Suppl 1     ISSN:  1468-3318     ISO Abbreviation:  Tob Control     Publication Date:  2004 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-02-26     Completed Date:  2004-12-07     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9209612     Medline TA:  Tob Control     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  i61-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Tobacco Control Resource Center, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Child Custody / legislation & jurisprudence
Disabled Persons / legislation & jurisprudence
Housing / legislation & jurisprudence
Malpractice / legislation & jurisprudence
Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence*
United States
Workers' Compensation / legislation & jurisprudence
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Tobacco Smoke Pollution

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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