Munger, Tolles & Olson lawyers, together with co-counsel at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, won denial of class certification in a claim filed by smokers and former smokers against Philip Morris USA.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco denied class certification on April 18, saying that class members would be too difficult to identify. In January, a federal judge in New York dismissed another, similar lawsuit. Plaintiffs included individuals who smoked a pack of cigarettes daily for more than 20 years and who sought to force the company to provide medical screening that would detect early stages of cancer.
“I think the important thing about both Judge Alsup’s ruling and the decision from Judge Amon [in the New York case] is that both judges recognized the diversity and ascertainability issues that arise with this group of plaintiffs and create fundamental problems for class certification,” Gregory P. Stone told the American Lawyer Litigation Daily.
Along with Mr. Stone, the other Munger Tolles attorneys working on the matter include Truc T. Do, Bethany Woodard Kristovich and Benjamin J. Maro.