Bluitt v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.(Personal Injury US Dist Ct, E LA 1994) Citation: 1994 WL 658470 (E.D.La. 21 Nov 1994)
This individual personal injury suit was brought by Alfred Bluitt against R.J. Reynolds.
The plaintiff alleged that the decedent suffered and died as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
The case was heard in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (Misc.A. No. 94-2318), before the Honorable Judge Clement. On November 21, 1994, the judge (1994 WL 658470 (E.D.La.)) ruled on an evidentiary issue regarding a subpoena for documents sent to the Louisiana State University Medical Center. The subpoena was sent by the defendant to obtain underlying documentation for the "Fontham study". The magistrate granted LSUMC's motion to quash the subpoena, since none of the scientists involved in the study were set to testify, and the case was not a class action. The defendant objected. The court upheld the magistrate's order. The study results were confidential, at least as far as they referred to individual participants, and the defendant failed to overcome that confidentiality by showing the requisite need.