Thompson v. Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation, et al.

A smoker and his wife filed a lawsuit against tobacco manufacturers alleging that the smoker's 30-year history of smoking cigarettes had led him to develop laryngeal cancer. He sought damages based on negligence and product liability for defect design and failure to warn, and his wife later brought a claim for loss of consortium. The defendants argued that the plaintiff had assumed the risks and had knowledge of open and obvious dangers. The trial court found in favor of the plaintiff and stated that the tobacco companies knew that their products were addictive and carcinogenic, making them unreasonably dangerous under both product liability and negligence. Further, the court considered that the defendants had a duty to warn the plaintiff at the time he started smoking and noted that even though the plaintiff had smoked light cigarettes in the last five years, the tobacco manufacturer was still liable, to a lesser extent, as light cigarettes contributed to the plaintiff's development of cancer. Finally, the court held that the wife had suffered severe hardship because of her husband’s health problems. However, the trial court reduced the amount of damages awarded because the court considered that the plaintiff had contributed to the aggravation of his health conditions by continuing to smoke and drink. The defendants appealed, and the Appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court.


Thompson v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, 207 S.W.S 3d 76, Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District (2006).

  • United States
  • Aug 22, 2006
  • Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District



  • Christi Thompson
  • Michael Thompson


  • Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation
  • Philip Morris USA Inc.

Legislation Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product