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New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund v. Philip Morris, Inc.

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
17 F. Supp. 2d 324 (1998)


Facts

The New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund and other health and welfare trust funds (plaintiffs) brought suit against Philip Morris, Inc. and other tobacco companies (defendants) for fraudulent misrepresentation. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants fraudulently withheld information about the health effects and addiction risks of smoking. This omission, according to the plaintiffs, induced people to smoke and continue smoking, which resulted in increased healthcare costs that the plaintiffs had to pay. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants directed their fraud not only at smokers generally but at the plaintiffs directly. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants directed their misrepresentations at the plaintiffs in order to ensure that the plaintiffs would have to incur the increased healthcare costs related to smoking, as opposed to the defendants. The plaintiffs claimed that they relied on the defendants’ misrepresentations in not treating smoking-related diseases sooner and not creating programs to encourage their members to stop smoking. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, arguing that the harm to the plaintiffs, if any, was too remote from the defendants’ conduct.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Barry, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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