August 29, 2016
On August 29, 2016, NPR filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts State Court, Suffolk County, on behalf of a female client against R.J. Reynolds, Cumberland Farms Supermarkets, and Garber Brothers alleging, among other things, the tobacco companies engaged in a decades-long massive and misleading public relations campaign that intentionally minimized the significant health risks and addictive nature of their cigarettes while promoting or implying benefits to smoking their cigarettes. The tobacco companies engaged in this conduct despite knowing their cigarettes were highly addictive and dangerous products whose risks dramatically outweighed any potential utility. As a result of the defendants’ conduct, our client was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer, which spread to her lymph nodes, liver, and stomach. Our client ultimately died as a result of the defendant’s conduct.
NPR’s client became addicted with free sample packs of cigarettes she was given as a child. The tobacco companies handed out free sample packs of cigarettes to many individuals, including children as young as 6 years old, during the late 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s in the the Northeastern United States. The tobacco companies targeted certain demographics by strategically handing out free samples of cigarettes in densely populated neighborhoods such as the Boston housing projects and similar areas. It was common practice throughout the United States for the cigarette companies to offer free sample packs of cigarettes (4 to 10 in a pack) to very young children on street corners, in parks, in schoolyards, at train and bus stations, and outside of neighborhood variety stores.
With the knowledge and expertise gained from acting as one of the five law firms that represented the State of Texas against Big Tobacco in the late 1990’s, NPR intends to once again hold Big Tobacco accountable for the deaths and injuries caused by their cigarettes and their methods of marketing their products to underaged children.
The plaintiff is represented by NP partner Neil Smith and associate Chad Ihrig.