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Broin v. Philip Morris Companies, Inc

Thirty non-smoking flight attendants brought a class action against a group of tobacco companies claiming that they suffered from health conditions allegedly resulting from continuous exposure to smoke emitted from the cigarettes of passengers during flights. The plaintiffs sought damages for the injuries under common law consumer protection theories, including strict tort liability, breach of implied warranty, negligence, fraud, misrepresentation and conspiracy to commit fraud. The trial court dismissed the class action, in part, because it found that the class representatives presented issues that potentially were not shared by all class members. The District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District, reversed the trial court’s decision, finding that the test for establishing the requisite commonality of issues shared by members of a class was not as strict as the one that the trial court had applied. The Court ordered the reinstatement of the class action.