Enormous $200 Billion Class Action Lawsuit Killed

The federal appeals court in New York City killed a $200 billion class action lawsuit against the tobacco industry brought in the name of America’s 30 million smokers of “light” cigarettes in McLaughlin v. Philip Morris.  The court ruled that individual issues outweighed issues common to the purported class.  It reversed a trial court ruling that I earlier criticized and other commentators predicted would be reversed.  Point of Law features links to the appeals court decision and scholarly commentary and blog posts attacking the trial court ruling.  The trial judge, notorious left-wing radical Jack Weinstein, would have allowed trial lawyers to seek billions of dollars in speculative damages under a “fluid recovery” theory, with leftover money not claimed by individual smokers going to left-wing special interest groups.  Weinstein gets control over massive class-actions and mega-lawsuits through manipulation of the judicial case-selection process.