West Virginia Record

Monday, March 30, 2020

Man sues Philip Morris for tobacco additives

Federal Court

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 14, 2020

Tobacco tax

ELKINS — A man is suing Philip Morris USA Inc. after he claims it misrepresented its products and caused him injuries.

Dale P. Field Jr. filed the lawsuit in Randolph Circuit Court. It was later removed to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Field claims the defendant knowingly and willingly used additives in their products to make the product more addictive to users for the sole purpose of profit and with complete disregard for the health ramifications of the consumer.

"The defendant was negligent in the design, testing or manufacturing of their product, when the design intentionally included additives that were used for the sole purpose of making the product more addictive to the consumer without concerns of health ramifications, and without notifying the Plaintiff of the use of additives which intentionally caused more harm to the Plaintiff," the complaint states.

Field claims the defendant misrepresented its products in marketing and distribution its product without notification.

The defendant designed the product in a manner to increase profit and with little or no concern about the health and safety ramifications of the public, according to the suit.

"In this manner, the Defendant deliberately designed the product to be more harmful without notification to the public prior to 2018," the complaint states.

Field claims the defendant breached its express warranty, fraudulently concealed the addictives in its products and failed to warn regarding the additives.

The defendant engaged in acts that were intentional and fraudulent and without disregard of health ramifications, according to the suit.

Field is seeking damages in the amount of $2 million for compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages. He is representing himself.

Philip Morris sought to remove the case to federal court because of diversity of citizenship and because the amount in controversy exceeded the state court threshold.

Philip Morris is represented by Jeremy Gunn of Shook, Hardy & Bacon.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Case number: 2:20-cv-00002

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Elkins Division