A $5 million dollar settlement has been awarded to the late Bobby Hill in the first unprecedented court case against U.S. Smokeless Tobacco and Altria, the company's owner. The historical suit may be the first of many to follow.
Bobby Hill's family filed the wrongful death lawsuit on the grounds that Hill was only 13 when he began using chewing tobacco until the day he died at the early age of 42. Hill's legal representatives uncovered letters written by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco which clearly stated "Catch them while they're young." Further investigations and testimony led to the decision for U.S. Smokeless Tobacco pay the $5 million dollar settlement, perhaps as an attempt to avoid a trial.
Many hope this landmark case will allow other families to file similar wrongful death lawsuits against tobacco companies.