August 17, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that a group of tobacco companies had broken the law, but could not be forced to pay monetary penalties such as funding a large anti-smoking campaign, as the government had sought.This was because in 2005, two Republican judges - David B. Sentelle and Stephen F. Williams - ruled that the government can't go after the tobacco companies for past wrongs.
...Kessler said the companies suppressed research, destroyed documents and manipulated nicotine levels to perpetuate addiction, but an appeals court ruling prevented her from slapping the companies with costly remedies. [. . .] That opinion, written by U.S. Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle, barred the government from seeking $280 billion in past industry profits, depriving the government of its biggest potential weapon in the case.
All the tobacco and other corporate money, all the millions and millions spent funding the Right paid off, and has left us with this country and its culture of corruption that lets corporations rob from us - even kill us - with impunity.
From the BBC story, Tobacco firms lose civil lawsuit
In her ruling, Judge Gladys Kessler said it was clear that "smoking causes disease, suffering, and death".
But the firms will not be fined or forced to fund anti-smoking programs.
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