Berger v. National Society of Tobacco and Matches

This is an action brought against National Society of Tobacco and Matches (SEITA) by survivors of a woman who began to smoke when she was 13 years old and died because of lung cancer at 35.  At the time of her death, she had 3 young daughters.  The survivors sought monetary damages, alleging SEITA failed to warn of the dangers of smoking from the 1950s until the passage of the Veil Law in 1976 and that SEITA owed a duty to warn smokers of the carcinogenic nature of their products - particularly of Gauloises brand cigarettes.  SEITA denied any liability and argued that at the time the decedent began smoking, SEITA had no legal obligation to issue warnings and that once warning requirements were implemented, the decedent's behavior did not change. The court agreed with SEITA, holding that SEITA was not liable to the family because SEITA's product was not defective. Rather, the court held that cigarettes were used excessively by the decedent who knew, or should have known of the dangers of tobacco.


Berger v. National Society of Tobacco and Matches, Case No. 04/01316, Court of Appeal - Montpellier (2006).

  • France
  • Mar 22, 2006
  • Court of Appeals - Montpellier



  • 34290 Arcades
  • Christian X.
  • Cynthia X.
  • Erika X.
  • Marie Jose Y.
  • Mikaelle Berger
  • Rosita Y.

Defendant National Society of Tobacco and Matches (SEITA)

Legislation Cited

Code for Consumption

Evin Law

Veil Law

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product