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Roysdon v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
849 F.2d 230 (1988)


Facts

Floyd Roysdon (plaintiff) began regularly smoking cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (Reynolds) (defendant) in 1946. Approximately 38 years later, Roysdon’s leg was partially amputated due to severe peripheral atherosclerotic vascular disease. Roysdon brought a products-liability suit against Reynolds based on a claim that the company’s cigarettes were defective and unreasonably dangerous. The case was removed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Roysdon’s claim was limited to the cigarettes he smoked during the 10 years that preceded his claim. At trial, Roysdon presented expert testimony that vascular disease was linked to smoking. The district court directed a verdict for Reynolds, finding that, although Roysdon may have established that cigarettes were defective, he did not establish that they were unreasonably dangerous. Roysdon appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ryan, J.)

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