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Thread: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    I guess it depends. How much disclosure was there at the time he started smoking? At what point did full disclosure occur? What attempts were made by the plaintiff to quit the product upon full disclosure, if any? Perhaps there is some liability here but certainly not in the amount of eight million dollars.

    Even if the company is at fault the man cannot absolve himself of responsibility. Quitting is hard, yes, but it is entirely possible. It simply requires a determination as to whether one holds their life in a higher regard than the pleasure they recieve from satisfying their addiction; this man chose his addiction over his life.
    Well written and rational, as usual.
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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Well Jallman it's not like the negative effects of smoking haven't been known for well over two generations. As a matter of fact that history of anti-smoking campaigns go back a few centuries. I came up on this - the authors even make one of the chapters relevant to this discussion available :

    'Your body belongs to the Fuhrer' (1919-49)

    The most compelling evidence came from Germany. In 1929, Fritz Lickint showed a link between smoking and lung cancer and in 1935 said there was "no doubt" that it caused bronchial cancer too. Another German doctor, Franz Muller, wrote the pioneering 'Tobacco misuse and lung carcinoma' in 1939 and reported that 83 of the 86 lung cancer patients he studied had been smokers. Muller also found that lung cancer victims were six times more likely to be "extremely heavy smokers".

    Now I'm not saying this study was made readily available to everyone but I think it is a sign showing that the negative effects of smoking were already being studied way longer then two generations ago.
    I understand that and I am not denying that research was in existence that linked cancer and smoking even in the 20's. There's a big gap between it being in existence and it being brought to public light, which really didn't happen in earnest until the late 60's and early 70's.

    All the research in the world can exist but if large cross sections of the population are still illiterate...


    But that's kind of the point. Isn't it? Tabbaco companies knowingly sell arcenic products. Some responsibility falls on the consumer to inform themselves on the product. Specially when it is being recommended by doctors on television. Would you buy a bottle of over the counter stuff not knowing exactly what is in it? Likewise would you just grab a rolled up cigarette from anybody without asking what it is and if it's laced with anything?
    I think that the public has a reasonable expectation of disclosure when a product has harmful ingredients. It shouldn't be a monumental endeavor to the doors of the tobacco company CEO to get the full truth when a company is selling something they expect you to ingest into your body.

    And there is a huge difference in telling your friend a rolled up cigarette is "safe" and a company falsely marketing to the public at large. That's called fraud. In this case, I would actually call it mass murder no different in result that the tainted tylenol murders that happened many years back. It's just this time it was perpetrated by the corporation of the product.

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    I guess it depends. How much disclosure was there at the time he started smoking? At what point did full disclosure occur? What attempts were made by the plaintiff to quit the product upon full disclosure, if any? Perhaps there is some liability here but certainly not in the amount of eight million dollars.

    Even if the company is at fault the man cannot absolve himself of responsibility. Quitting is hard, yes, but it is entirely possible. It simply requires a determination as to whether one holds their life in a higher regard than the pleasure they recieve from satisfying their addiction; this man chose his addiction over his life.
    I can easily see a consumer lawsuit getting that high. Once you factor doctor bills, pain and suffering, torte damages, legal fees and then factor 4X that amount in punative damages, 8 million doesn't seem all that exorbitant anymore.

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by EgoffTib View Post
    Right. But if someone tells you that they didn't know that smoking can cause cancer or that it is a poor health decision, they are lying or live under a rock.
    This isn't exactly true. There are people who simply are not informed not because they didn't choose to be informed but because there wasn't enough information handed out to them when they were young etc. There are millions of kids today claiming that they didn't know one could get pregnant from having intercourse just once. Are they lying? I doubt it. Living under a rock? Don't think so. I don't think there is enough information to this day handed out on the hazardous effects of smoking. Just like there isn't nearly enough information as I'd like on the consequences of having unprotected sex. Instead of spending money on school programs targeting these things the government should buy more day time ad spots. In everything from the OC to Sponge Bob. Kids go to school and are told not to smoke. Some of them pay attention and some do not. But I'll guarantee the message sinks into them a lot better when they're watching their favorite programming.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 02-20-09 at 08:21 PM.
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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    This isn't exactly true. There are people who simply are not informed not because they didn't choose to be informed but because there wasn't enough information handed out to them when they were young etc. There are millions of kids today claiming that they didn't know one could get pregnant from having intercourse just once. Are they lying? I doubt it. Living under a rock? Don't think so. I don't think there is enough information to this day handed out on the hazardous effects of smoking. Just like there isn't nearly enough information as I'd like on the consequences of having unprotected sex. Instead of spending money on school programs targeting these things the government should buy more day time ad spots. In everything from the OC to Sponge Bob. Kids go to school and are told not to smoke. Some of them pay attention and some do not. But I'll guarantee the message sinks into them a lot better when they're watching their favorite programming.
    Well then maybe the government should formulate a trillion dollar education bill:
    "Falling off of your bike will hurt!"
    "Eating some foods will make you fat!"
    "Breathing air can make you sick!"
    "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." - Gandhi

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    I know, I know...not everybody can be as tuff as the dragonlady of the great white river so they should all just die. WWRPD, right?
    They should die if they choose to. I fully support the right of each individual to commit suicide.


    Quote Originally Posted by sazerac View Post
    I'm gonna guess that you and Danarhea are the only two people who didn't get what I said. I think we all understand that it's not impossible to quit smoking. Not that I ever said it was.

    I'm glad it's all clear now. You can go back to defending murderous drug dealers now.

    And bashing your fellow citizens who got caught up in a deadly habit promoted by the government and by the media.
    I defend people's choices to do what they wish with their bodies. To ingest whatever the hell they want, in whatever quantities they want. I do not, however, support them blaming someone else for the negative outcomes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sazerac View Post
    Good points. My main point is that adults don't pick up smoking. The habit starts when people are teens, too young to understand the consequences. Any adult who takes up the habit is a moron, but I'm not going to say they get what they deserve. People are people.
    Not sure I'm following. Many, many adults pick up smoking.

    I guess my other point is that once we found out how incredibly bad this is for us the people who made it should have stopped selling it. When they didn't the government should have stopped it.

    This is not the government interfering in business so much as the government defending us, as is their first job.
    It is NOT the government's job to defends us from ourselves.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    I guess it depends. How much disclosure was there at the time he started smoking? At what point did full disclosure occur? What attempts were made by the plaintiff to quit the product upon full disclosure, if any? Perhaps there is some liability here but certainly not in the amount of eight million dollars.

    Even if the company is at fault the man cannot absolve himself of responsibility. Quitting is hard, yes, but it is entirely possible. It simply requires a determination as to whether one holds their life in a higher regard than the pleasure they recieve from satisfying their addiction; this man chose his addiction over his life.
    Exactly. And exactly why his family should not be paid an exorbitant amount of money.

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    I can easily see a consumer lawsuit getting that high. Once you factor doctor bills, pain and suffering, torte damages, legal fees and then factor 4X that amount in punative damages, 8 million doesn't seem all that exorbitant anymore.
    I would agree if I felt the company to be fully liable, but the man started ingesting the product under partial disclosure and continued ingesting the product even after full disclosure. I sympathize with the difficulty of quitting but in the end it was still his choice, albeit a tough one.

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    I would agree if I felt the company to be fully liable, but the man started ingesting the product under partial disclosure and continued ingesting the product even after full disclosure. I sympathize with the difficulty of quitting but in the end it was still his choice, albeit a tough one.
    I can meet you halfway on that point. I still see 8 million as well within reason, though. It's not like we live in a world where we are impressed by millionaires when billionaires are almost as plentiful as millionaires were in the 80's and 90's.

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    I understand that and I am not denying that research was in existence that linked cancer and smoking even in the 20's. There's a big gap between it being in existence and it being brought to public light, which really didn't happen in earnest until the late 60's and early 70's.

    All the research in the world can exist but if large cross sections of the population are still illiterate...

    I think that the public has a reasonable expectation of disclosure when a product has harmful ingredients. It shouldn't be a monumental endeavor to the doors of the tobacco company CEO to get the full truth when a company is selling something they expect you to ingest into your body.

    And there is a huge difference in telling your friend a rolled up cigarette is "safe" and a company falsely marketing to the public at large. That's called fraud. In this case, I would actually call it mass murder no different in result that the tainted tylenol murders that happened many years back. It's just this time it was perpetrated by the corporation of the product.
    To some extent you're right. The population 60 years ago was a lot more illiterate then that of today but that still doesn't answer our one million dollar question. When did this guy start smoking?

    The Raw Story | Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    The jury rejected Elian Hess' demand for 130 million dollars compensation, arguing that her husband Stuart Hess was partly responsible for his death since he smoked three packs a day of Benson & Hedges before he died at age 55 in 1997.

    But after nine hours of deliberations the jury ordered the cigarette maker to pay two million dollars in compensatory damages to Elaine Hess, one million to her son David and five million dollars in punitive damages.
    So let's for argument's sake say he started smoking when he was 20(1962) years old and at 50 he was told he had lung cancer. At 35(1977) did he not know that smoking was bad for one's health? I can not help but wonder how much responsibility falls on a consumer of the late 1970s where there already was a plethora of information on this subject.

    The point of me bringing up a friend giving you a home made cigarette wasn't to compare it to what the tobacco companies did but to use it as a reference to your responsibility as a consumer to question that which is not only alien to your body but suggested to you as being good.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 02-20-09 at 08:39 PM.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by EgoffTib View Post
    "Falling off of your bike will hurt!"
    Riding a bike is not an activity associated with specific hazards. Nobody rides a bike thinking they'll be hit by a truck. It simply happens but one could be hit by a truck, fall off, etc. However having unprotected sex and smoking can and does leads to SPECIFIC health problems and social issues.

    "Eating some foods will make you fat!"
    No it can not. What foods make you fat? Is there some sort of magic food I can eat and instantly become fat? You obviously do not understand that addiction is NOTHING like riding a bike or eating certain foods. You do not get cold sweats from not eating Big Macs. There are no withdrawal symptoms related to not eating specific foods.

    "Breathing air can make you sick!"
    No. It can not. Breathing asbestos can make you sick. Breathing carcinogens can make you sick. Breathing O2 can not make you sick. Ever.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 02-20-09 at 08:40 PM.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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