July 15, 1997 in Nation/World

Tobacco Industry Sings ‘Phony Song’

Compiled From Wire Services

A $5 billion lawsuit by flight attendants who say passengers’ smoke harmed their health went to trial Monday with an attorney accusing the tobacco industry of singing a “phony song” about the dangers of cigarettes.

Stanley Rosenblatt, a lawyer for the 60,000 current and former flight attendants represented in the class-action case, opened the landmark trial by accusing the industry of trying to mislead the public into believing that the hazards of smoking and secondhand smoke still are disputed.

Rosenblatt begged jurors to tell the industry: “The game is over.”

In their lawsuit, nonsmoking flight attendants blame cigarette smoke in airline cabins for lung cancer, respiratory problems and heart disease.

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