West Virginia Court Tries Altria and Reynolds American

Bloomberg News reports tobacco companies including Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris unit and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. are on trial for more that 600 smoking-related personal- injury cases. The trial is to determine whether cigarettes are defective products, whether the companies failed to warn about the dangers of smoking, broke express warranties and fraudently concealed information from smokers. Kenneth McClain, a lawyer for the smokers, said last week, “This case is about the corporations’ responsibility. They were actively keeping from the public the information that they had.” Courts are hearing similar cases in Florida and Missouri.