Tags: Tobacco | Industry | Wins | Lawsuit | Against | Stewardess

Tobacco Industry Wins Lawsuit Against Stewardess

Thursday, 05 April 2001 12:00 AM

Marie Fontana, 59, of Boca Raton, Fla., had asked for millions of dollars from four major cigarette makers. She is one of 3,200 flight attendants who won the right to sue the nation's tobacco companies under a settlement reached in 1997.

Fontana suffers from sarcoidosis, a lung disease for which nobody knows the cause or a cure.

Her attorneys said she also suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

The U.S. Surgeon General has said those conditions can be caused by second-hand smoke. Her lawyers said they aggravated her other condition.

R.J. Reynolds attorney Jonathan Engram conceded the woman had sarcoidosis but said it was not caused by passengers' cigarette smoke.

Fontana, who flew with TWA for 23 years, said she needed the money for a double lung transplant and full-time care to save her life.

Fontana's case was the first to go to trial under the 1997 agreement. The verdict was considered a major victory for tobacco. Her attorney had said it could serve as a test for thousands of cases.

"This is a critical case. This case has importance beyond this building," Steven Hunter told the six Miami-Dade County Circuit Court jurors in closing arguments.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Marie Fontana, 59, of Boca Raton, Fla., had asked for millions of dollars from four major cigarette makers. She is one of 3,200 flight attendants who won the right to sue the nation's tobacco companies under a settlement reached in 1997. Fontana suffers from sarcoidosis, a...
Tobacco,Industry,Wins,Lawsuit,Against,Stewardess
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2001-00-05
Thursday, 05 April 2001 12:00 AM
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