Court Dismisses Medical Monitoring Claims

Fla. judge says plaintiffs failed to allege legally proper claim against PM USA

Published in CSP Daily News

RICHMOND, Va. -- Philip Morris USA (PM USA) said that a federal judge in Florida yesterday dismissed a medical monitoring class-action case because plaintiffs failed to allege a legally proper claim for medical monitoring.

"This is the third federal court this year to correctly reject smokers' medical monitoring claims," said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of PM USA. "Federal and state judges across the country have rejected medical monitoring claims on a variety of grounds, and we are pleased [image-nocss] with the judge's sound reasoning today."

While the court allowed plaintiffs to refile the complaint, it said, "This may prove to be a difficult task. Absent allegations that individuals who have smoked nondefective Marlboro cigarettes for 20-pack years would not have suffered the same injury as Gargano, the Second Amended Complaint will fare no better than the First."

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida joins federal courts in New York and California in rejecting medical monitoring claims this year. In addition to today's decision, 16 federal and state courts have rejected class certification in medical monitoring cases. At trial, tobacco companies have won the medical monitoring claims in the two cases that have been certified as class actions.

This case is Gargano v. Philip Morris USA, 10-24042-CIV.

Richmond, Va.-based Philip Morris USA is an operating company of Altria Group Inc.

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