How will the Court rule in Cipollone vs. Liggett? Some look at the cigar wedged in Justice [Clarence Thomas]' teeth - he's a smoker. It's smarter to look at Thomas' judicial record.
When the smoke clears on Cipollone vs. Liggett, the repercussions will extend far beyond the cigarette industry. If the court rules against pre- emption, Professor [Laurence Tribe] can pour champagne - for himself, the Cipollones and the nation's litigators. Meanwhile, manufacturers will have to take Alka Seltzer and figure out how to pay for more and more expensive lawsuits in state courts everywhere. CUTLINE:COURT IRONY: Success in smoking suit argued by Laurence Tribe, left, could hinge on the vote of Clarence Thomas, the man Tribe campaigned to keep off the Supreme Court.
Rose Cipollone died from lung cancer after smoking cigarettes manufactured by Liggett. The question before the court is whether the Cipollone family can sue Liggett for failing to adequately warn Rose of the health hazards of smoking, even though Liggett printed the surgeon general's warning on every pack it sold.
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