Court refuses class-action status for tobacco suit

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Tobacco companies won a major victory Thursday when a New Orleans federal appeals court decided not to let a lawsuit be tried as a class action case. The suit alleges that tobacco companies aggressively marketed cigarettes and concealed knowledge that nicotine is addictive.

Called the Castano case, the lawsuit was filed by Diane Castano, whose husband died of lung cancer, on behalf of three other smokers. It had originally been certified as a class action, including anyone who smokes. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, unaminously agreed with industry arguments that arguing individual circumstances about millions of smokers would be unwieldy.

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