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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A U.S. district court judge in Nevada has denied class certification in five class-action lawsuits on behalf of smokers seeking damages from U.S. tobacco companies.
On July 10, the court ruled that, among other things, the individuals named as class representatives for each of the five lawsuits were not typical of the proposed class members and that individual issues would predominate over any common issues, making the cases unmanageable as a class action.
"Tobacco class actions simply are not appropriate because they always involve a wide variety of individuals whose legal claims depend on each individual's unique facts and circumstances," said Martin Holton, vice president and assistant general counsel and litigation for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. "This decision, and the vast majority of rulings in similar cases in both state and federal courts, underscores the fact that tobacco class actions should not be certified.
"In addition, this ruling as well as recent favorable rulings and verdicts in a number of individual smoking and health cases, demonstrates that our litigation defenses remain strong."
The five lawsuits that were denied class certification were the Ellington, Deller, Hudson, Martinez and Ramsden cases.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, a subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States and manufacturer of brands such as Camel, Winston, Salem and Doral.