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Court rules families of two dead smokers have no case against companies that made and sold cigarettes

The Supreme Judicial Court today dismissed suits by the families of two Massachusetts smokers against cigarette companies and stores that sold cigarettes because their right to sue had expired even before their relatives did.

The state's highest court concluded that, in wrongful death cases in Massachusetts, the right to sue hinges on, or is "derivative" of, any action the dead people could have brought before they died. State law gives people three years after they realize they've been injured to sue, but both smokers died after that period had expired, and therefore so did the right of their survivors to sue for their deaths.

Where a decedent had no right on the date of his or her death to bring suit for the injury that caused his or her death, no cause of action for wrongful death based on the death-causing injury ever vests in the decedent's representative for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

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PDF icon Complete ruling123.1 KB


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Too bad these plaintiffs wasted their money.

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And the deceased for wasting their money on smokes.

Voting closed 1