German court rejects smoking claim

14th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

14 November 2003 , ARNSBERG - Germany's first case of a smoker seeking damages from a major European tobacco concern came to a quick conclusion Friday with the court rejecting the suit.

14 November 2003

ARNSBERG - Germany's first case of a smoker seeking damages from a major European tobacco concern came to a quick conclusion Friday with the court rejecting the suit.

The Arnsberg State Court issued its ruling just a week after the case had been opened in what was the first time that a US-style damage claims suit against a tobacco concern was being heard.

Wolfgang Heine, a 56-year-old chain-smoker was seeking damages of EUR213,000 from the German tobacco concern Reemtsma, blaming the company for his two heart attacks. He charged that the company failed to warn about health risks and had even put in additives to make cigarettes more addictive.

Reemtsma lawyers argued that the company could not be held responsible for an individual's actions.

The case was being closely watched since a win could have opened the floodgates to countless similar lawsuits in Germany, which has one of Europe's highest smoking rates.

DPA

Subject: German news

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