Second-Hand Smoke Lawsuits

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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The effects of second-hand smoke have been widely publicized over the past few years.  The American Lung Association estimates that about 3,000 lung cancer deaths and between 20,000 – 70,000 heart disease deaths each year are attributable to second hand smoke.  What option is available to you if you have been injured by second-hand smoke?

One option is to sue the tobacco companies for damages related to your injuries.  However, it must be noted that these cases are extremely difficult to win.  It is difficult enough to prove that your illness resulted from expose to smoke if you were a smoker, and much more difficult to prove that link if you are a nonsmoker.

If your exposure to second-hand smoke occurred in the workplace, you may be able to file a workman’s compensation claim.  Another choice is to sue your employer for exposing you to a dangerous work environment.  

There have also been several class action lawsuits filed concerning exposure to second-hand smoke.  A class action is a lawsuit filed on behalf of numerous plaintiffs. One case that generated quite a bit of publicity and was settled out of court involved flight attendants suing the tobacco industry.

If you have been injured by second-hand smoke, your first step should be to consult with a lawyer.  An experienced attorney will be able to assess your situation and advise you on the best course of action.  An attorney can also advise you of other programs and government services that can offer you assistance.

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Last Modified: 06-30-2009 02:24 PM PDT

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