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    Conn. Weighs Tobacco Suit

    Court to rule whether R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard violated state's liability laws.

    HARTFORD -- The state Supreme Court was asked to decide whether a Connecticut family that lost a relative to lung cancer can sue tobacco companies using both product liability laws and Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practices Act.

    Judith Gerrity started smoking in her teens and continued for decades. After she died of lung cancer in 1996, her family sued the makers of the cigarettes she smoked, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co.

    The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, claims that the companies both manufactured defective products and engaged in deceptive advertising and marketing, the Associated Press reported.

    Gay Tedder, an attorney for the companies, said product liability laws preclude someone who has charged that a product is defective from also taking action under the Unfair Trade Practices Act.

    David Golub, an attorney representing the Gerrity estate, said the family would like to see an injunction against the tobacco companies. Such an order would stop them from doing any advertising and marketing determined by the court to be deceptive, the report said.

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