Ramsey-Buckingham v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al.
The administrator of the estate of a deceased woman filed a personal injury suit against several tobacco companies, claiming that the woman's death resulted from lung cancer allegedly caused from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and arguing that this was a foreseeable result of the unreasonably dangerous character of defendants' products. The Court dismissed the plaintiff's products liability claim for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The Court based its dismissal of the products liability claim on the fact that the plaintiff failed to state distinct allegations regarding the defective nature of the product and its unreasonably dangerous character. The Court, however, held that the plaintiff had alleged a negligence claim for which relief could be granted. Under this theory of relief, a supplier of goods may be held liable for the foreseeable results of the expected use of goods known to be unreasonably dangerous.