Tillery's firm sues big tobacco again

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 29, 2004, 7:18am

Stephen Tillery

Represented by trial attorney giants Korein Tillery of Belleville and SimmonsCooper of East Alton, a Nashville, Ill. couple filed a 12-count lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds (RJR) and Huck's Convenience Store in Madison County Circuit Court Dec. 28 for misrepresenting the amount of tar and nicotine contained in Salem Lights.

Gerald Krueger was diagnosed with lung cancer on Dec. 6, 2000, which he claims was caused by smoking 20-30 Salem Lights a day for more than 24 years.

He didn't know that he was receiving higher levels of tar and nicotine than RJR represented or that the smoke produced by Salem Lights is more mutagenic than regular cigarettes, Krueger claims.

Gerald’s wife, Rebekah Krueger, is also seeking damages alleging she has suffered “loss of the consortium, society, companionship, fellowship and other valuable services of her husband” since he has been diagnosed with cancer.

The Kruegers are seeking at least $600,000 in damages caused by RJR's and Huck’s alleged violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, the Uniform Commercial Code, product liability and negligence.

According to the complaint, the first day Huck’s placed Salem Lights cigarettes into the stream of commerce, Hucks individually and jointly engaged in misrepresentations, unlawful schemes and courses of conduct that induced Krueger to purchase Salem Lights trough unfair and deceptive acts.

“Krueger would not have purchased Salem Lights but for defendant’s unfair and deceptive acts and practices,” the complaint states.

As a result of the alleged unfair practices and acts, Krueger alleges he did not receive lower tar and nicotine cigarettes when he purchased Salem Lights and the defendants allegedly violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, which Krueger claims led to his lung cancer.

Krueger claims he relied upon the implied warranty that Salem Lights were merchantable; however Huck’s allegedly breached the implied warranty in that they were not merchantable.

Rebekah Krueger also claims she is informed and believes that she is entitled to actual damages against Huck’s by reason of loss of consortium and society.

Gerald Krueger filed a lawsuit against RJR, Huck’s, Park N Shop supermarkets and Hit & Run in December 2003, but asked for the case to be dismissed without prejudice.

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