According to Sun Herald, a federal judge rejected a request by a group of California plaintiffs seeking class action certification in a medical monitoring lawsuit. The judge said there was no reliable way to identify the class members. U.S. cigarette maker Philip Morris said the judge dismissed the medical monitoring claim after a New York judge dismissed a similar claim in January. The company said these decisions should have significant influence on two other cases in which plaintiffs are seeking medical monitoring.
Speaking on behalf of Philip Morris, the company’s spokesperson said that the decision is consistent with existing law and the overwhelming majority of previous decisions denying class certifications. All previous cases, including this class action suit, were brought on by smokers.
In the decision, the court said the ruling was based on inability to identify class members and the question would come down to the state of mind of the putative class member. The judge found plaintiffs’ arguments to not be persuasive.
In March, a Clay County jury sided with Philip Morris in an Engle tobacco case. The verdict came in on one out of thousands of pending Northeast Florida cases resulting from a 2006 Florida Supreme Court decision that decertified a smokers’ class action suit, but allowed certain findings from that to stand. Philip Morris has continually said that the company should not be held liable over an individual’s decision to smoke or when to quit.
Stanley Iola – Dallas litigation lawyers