LANGUAGE

Avallone, et al. v. American Tobacco Company, Inc., et al.

The plaintiffs moved for a class certification on behalf of New Jersey casino workers who were occupationally exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The class of plaintiffs sought equitable relief in the form of a medical monitoring program for all asymptomatic non-smoking employees who were allegedly at an increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease as a result of this exposure. The Court found that the ETS exposure was "multifactored" and that the size of the potential class and the different characteristics of each casino and each worker disrupted the required class cohesiveness. The Court also held that the class was not cohesive because the nexus between exposure and injury led to disparate applications of legal rules, including matters of causation, comparative fault and the types of damages available to each plaintiff.  The Court denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification.