Judge Kessler Grants Public Health Motion to Intervene

Statement of William V. Corr Executive Director, Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund

Jul. 22 2005

Washington, DC — We are pleased that Judge Gladys Kessler granted the motion to intervene filed by six public health groups in the federal government’s lawsuit against the major tobacco companies in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“In a case of this magnitude, which could potentially affect the health and welfare of the American public, as well as the American economy (given our enormous annual expenditures on health care), it will serve the public interest for major public health organizations, such as Intervenors, who have long experience with smoking and health issues, to contribute their perspectives on what appropriate and legally permissible remedies may be imposed should liability be found,” Kessler said in her written opinion.

It is unfortunate that the government has failed to call for the strongest remedies possible in order to protect the public health. However, with Judge Kessler’s decision today, we look forward to putting on the strongest case possible.

Today, like every other day in America, 2,000 more kids will get hooked on cigarettes - one third of them will die prematurely as a result. A strong resolution of this case will save countless lives. We welcome Judge Kessler’s decision as a major step towards ensuring that Big Tobacco is held accountable for their decades of deception.

The motion to intervene was filed jointly by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund (a 501(c)(4) organization affiliated with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids).

 

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