About the 18th conference organized by the Tobacco Products Liability
Dick is Chairman of the Tobacco Products Liability Project Northeastern
University School of Law
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Thank you Dick for accepting our rendez-vous.
May I ask you to introduce yourself ?
Richard Daynard: I grew up in New York, went to Columbia College
and Harvard Law School. Then I clerked for a federal appeals court
judge in New York for a year. The following year I was a teaching
fellow at Columbia Law School, and got a masters in Sociology.
I am Richard (Dick) Daynard. I'm a law professor at Northeastern
University School of Law in Boston. I've been Chairman of the Tobacco
Products Liability Project since its founding in 1984, as well as
President of its parent organization, the Tobacco Control Resource
1. Litigation played a very important role in tobacco control. What influence do you think the "AG's settlement" will have?
Does it mean the end of litigation against the tobacco industry in the US?
I think the AG's settlement just whets people's appetite for tobacco
litigation. After all, $208 billion is a lot of money. And to get it,
it not enough to ask -- you have to sue for it.
Nor are there any lack of plausible plaintiffs. For example,
Medicaid (which the AG's were suing for) covers only about 10% of
smoking-related illness. The other 90% is paid for by employers,
insurance companies, union health and welfare funds, and the federal
government. They're all potential plaintiffs. Furthermore, health care
is just one element of damages which a smoker can collect. Individual
smokers, and classes of smokers, are suing to recover their lost wages,
compensation for pain and suffering, etc. And cases brought by ETS
victims are also becoming more common.