Arabie v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.(Personal Injury, LA 24th Dist. Ct. 1993 Def. Verdict) Citation: 698 So.2d 423, 96-978 (La.App. 5 Cir. 6/30/97)
This individual personal injury suit was brought by Clifton J. and Elizabeth Ann Arabie against R.J. Reynolds, Liggett, American Tobacco CO., and Avondale Industriesin October, 1993. (R.J. Reynolds and Liggett, and Avondale were dismissed prior to trial.) Principle Health Care of Louisiana successfully intervened on behalf of the plaintiffs in December, 1994.
The plaintiff alleged that Mr. Arabie's lung cancer resulted from his exposure to tobacco smoke and his exposure to asbestos through Avondale's negligence.
The case was heard in the 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana (Division "J" No. 454,877), before the Honorable Patrick J. McCabe. The judge dismissed with prejudice the clalim of express warranty because the plaintiffs had abandoned it. He granted the defendant's motion for summary judgement on the basis that state law only provided exclusive remedy, and the plaintiff did not fit within the exclusive category. The plaintiff appealed.
The Court of Appeal of Louisiana (698 So.2d 423), Fifth Circuit affirmed the case on June 30, 1997. It held that state law provided the only possible remedy for the smoker because nothing was shown to prove the presence of the injury prior the law going into effect. Because the plaintiff's theory of recovery was not listed as an exclusive theory under the statute, recovery was barred.