Zagurski

Betty S. Zagurski Executrix for Arthur W. Zagurski
v American Tobacco Co.

US District Court for the District of Connecticut
The Honorable M. Joseph Blumenfeld presiding

Filed 1963

Verdict for the Defendant.

Zagurski died of lung cancer.

Plaintiff attorneys: Emil A Petke; Gordon, Muir & Fitzgerald by George Muir and Peter Schwartz
Defendant attorneys: Day, Berry & Howard by Ralph C Dixon, Richard M. Reynolds, Janet C. Brown for Chadbourne, Parke Whiteside & Wolff .

Timeline

  • 1963 – August 13: Complaint filed filed
    – seeking general and total damages $150,000
  • 1967 – June 16: Verdict for the Defendant

Narrative

The plaintiff alleged that Arthur Zagurski suffered injuries resulting from smoking Pall Mall cigarettes. The defendant’s cigarettes contained harmful ingredients, but the defendant, through advertising, expressly and impliedly warranted them as suitable for personal use.

The defendant argued affirmative defenses of assumption of risk, and contributory negligence.

The case was filed in Connecticut state courts but the defendant removed the case on diversity grounds. It was heard in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Civil Action No. 9988), before the Honorable M. Joseph Blumenfeld.

The complaint was amended on December 19, 1966 to include additional allegations. On May 18, 1967 The judge (44 F.R.D. 440) denied the defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment on the new allegations. The judge ruled that the new allegations related back to the same conduct of the defendant as the original complaint, and so would be calculated from that date for the purposes of the statute of limitations.

Trial got underway on June 1, 1967, and on June 22 the jury returned a general verdict for defendant after deliberating less than two hours.

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