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Laborers Local 17 Health & Benefit Fund v. Philip Morris, Inc.

1998 WL 241279 (1998)

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Laborers Local 17 Health & Benefit Fund v. Philip Morris, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

1998 WL 241279 (1998)

Facts

Laborers Local 17 Health & Benefit Fund (Laborers) (plaintiffs), a group of nine employee-benefit trust funds, sought class-action status in parallel class actions against Phillip Morris, Inc., and other cigarette manufacturers (manufacturers) (defendants) for concealing crucial information about the dangers of cigarette smoking and other exposures to tobacco products. The manufacturers sought discovery from absent class members in the form of interrogatories, document requests, and depositions to support their opposition to class-action certification. The manufacturers argued that they needed broad discovery to show that individual issues predominated over issues common to the class and because the manufacturers may contest the typicality of the named plaintiffs’ claims. Laborers argued that the discovery request was overly broad and unnecessary because the common questions relied on for certification involved activities of the manufacturers, not Laborers.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dolinger, J.)

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