L.A. County To File Tobacco Lawsuit

Opening a major line of attack in the legal battle against the tobacco industry, Los Angeles County supervisors agreed Tuesday to file a lawsuit seeking huge damages to recover the cost of treating smoking-related illness in the nation’s most populous county.

Less than a week after San Francisco became the first municipality in the United States to sue the tobacco industry, the supervisors voted 4-1 to either join the San Francisco case or have a Los Angeles law firm file a separate suit on the county’s behalf against six tobacco companies and two industry trade associations.

With more than 9.2 million residents, Los Angeles County will become the third largest plaintiff after the states of Texas and Florida in a wave of litigation seeking damages from the tobacco industry for the health impacts associated with smoking.

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