South Florida lawyers took on the tobacco industry when a family lawyer in Delray Beach passed away at age 52 from lung cancer. In 1958, high school freshman Thomas Purdo of Detroit started smoking.
“He was influenced by the ads. He was influenced by the culture,” said Alex Alvarez, an attorney for the Purdo family. “In the last 1950s, smoking was normal. Smoking was seen as glamorous and cool. Boys wanted to emulate movie stars.”
His wife became pregnant in the early 1980s with their first child. He quit smoking when he got the news. However, in 1996, he received a diagnosis of lung cancer. A short year after his devastating diagnosis he had passed away. At the time of his death, his children were ages 9 and 15, and his wife, Linda, was left alone to raise them.
Many people think that after several years, the lungs simply go back to being healthy when someone no longer smokes. While improvements can and do occur, smoking still caused damage. Alvarez stated, “What matters is how long and how much you smoked. He had a very significant smoking history.”
In 2007, his family brought a lawsuit again Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. When the case made it to trial in April, the tobacco companies attempted to defend themselves by stating that Purdue’s cancer was not caused by his smoking cigarettes. They argued that he must have had either prostate or stomach cancer first and that one of these cancers spread to his lungs.
in the history there have been a lot of lawsuit against big company, some of they were a media boom and all public has shifted they feelings about that practically brand or company.
However, Alvarez presented his medical records to show evidence that his cancer was primary lung cancer. This means that his cancer started in the lungs and not elsewhere in the body.
“He had three CT scans that never showed any prostate or stomach cancer until the very, very end,” argued Alvarez. “By that time it had already metastasized.”
The tobacco companies also presented the case that the companies did not force Purdo to start nor to continue smoking. They stuck to the idea that his smoking was a personal choice and that advertising and marketing did not play a role in him developing and sticking to his habit.
“When tragedy strikes, victims and their loved ones are left with questions as to how to proceed and handle the financial components of the situation,” says Joe and Martin of a South Carolina. “It is important that they get the information and support that they need so that they can keep their focus on recovering and supporting their loved one.”
The winning of this lawsuit is historic and something many thought could not be done. Many take on Big Tobacco and fail every day. While this does not bring Purdo back, it may help the family to find some closure. It may even help someone who wants to quit smoking, but simply needs something that will motivate them finally kick the smoking habit for good.