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The American Museum of Tort Law seeks to increase citizen understanding of Tort Law – the law of wrongful injury – and the role it plays in protecting personal freedom, health and safety through the American civil justice system.

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The plaintiff in Cipollone v. Liggett Group was Rose Cipollone, who began smoking in 1942, when she was 16 years old. Shortly before she died of lung cancer in 1984 at the age of 58, her husband sued the company that manufactured the cigarettes she smoked.

In 1988, a jury in New Jersey awarded Cipollone’s husband $400,000. The jurors found that, before 1966, the company had failed to warn of the health risks of smoking its products. (After 1966, cigarette packages included a federally required health warning that smoking cigarettes may be hazardous to health, and the court in Cipollone made a pre-trial ruling that the warning labels placed on cigarettes in 1966 prevented common law claims for injuries related to smoking after that date.) The jury also found that the company’s cigarette advertisements constituted an express warranty that its cigarettes were safe, and the company had breached that warranty.

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