ELKINS — Altria Group filed a motion to dismiss in a lawsuit alleging it negligently used additives in its cigarettes.
"Altria Group Inc. moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) for an order dismissing the action for lack of personal jurisdiction over Altria," the June 10 motion to dismiss states. "As demonstrated in the contemporaneously filed Altria Group Inc.’s Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, Altria is not subject to West Virginia’s long-arm statute, and any exercise of jurisdiction would violate due process."
Dale P. Field Jr. claims Altria, which is a cigarette manufacturer, knowingly and willfully used additives in its products to make the cigarettes more addictive to users for the sole purpose of profit and with complete disregard to the health ramifications to the customer, according to a complaint filed in March in Randolph Circuit Court and removed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on June 10.
"The Defendant did engage in acts of misrepresentation by producing and then marketing a product under the guise that...the addictiveness factor is a sole result of the raw tobacco product," the complaint states. "This is implied that the product has no additives that lead to a stronger addiction for the sole purpose of profit."
Field claims Altria marketed the cigarettes with only partial information and omitted facts the purposefully mislead the consumer.
The defendant's behavior in adding additional additives to cigarettes was harmful, according to the suit.
Field claims his lung condition caused by cigarettes cannot be repaired and has caused him job opportunities.
Field is seeking damages in the amount of $750,000. He is representing himself.
Altria is represented by Jeremy Gunn of Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Case number: 2:19-cv-00036