Claiming to have suffered emotional distress caused by the long-term public nuisance of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), a nonsmoker brought suit against the six major American tobacco companies. For more details on the allegations, see the First Amended Complaint. Mr. Jason represented himself. He alleged that, as a bystander, he has been injured by ETS and that the companies have “acted with intentional and malicious conduct not to disclose” the truth about the hazards of exposure to ETS and intentionally made a hazardous product.
On December 23, 1992, judge Lucy Kelly McCabe allowed the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, ruling:
(I) Plaintiff cannot maintain an action solely for emotional distress damages because he does not satisfy the requirements for recovering such damages ; (ii) as a matter of law, plaintiff’s emotional distress was not “serious ;” and (iii) Civil Code Section 1714 .45 bars product liability lawsuits such as this action based on a claim of personal injury alleged to have been caused by tobacco products . (See Tobacco Weekly 1/28/93 at p. 7)
Plaintiff signed an agreement with the cigarette companies not to appeal the ruling.
Jason v. Philip Morris Inc., et al., No. 943935, Calif. Super. Ct., San Francisco Co. (1992).
[2016 – The pro se plaintiff has contacted smokelitgation.org to dispute the accuracy of this account. The editors stand by the summary based on archived documents].