1988 letter from amputee threatening RJR with lawsuit

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

This Letter Is Neither Extortion or Blackmail.

This gut-wrenching letter was written by a cigarette consumer to R.J. Reynolds in 1988. The writer was a wheelchair-bound, 63 year old man with only an 8th grade education who became paralyzed on his left side due to a stroke, and then later had his legs amputated, part by part, over a three-year period, as a result of ciculatory problems which his doctors assured him were due to smoking. The man had a wife and eight children. He got cigarettes free in the army. He wrote RJR to try and get some compensation for his disability. The man says he consulted a "prominent attorney" and, despite the attorney's discouragement, believes he can win a lawsuit against the company, but is merely asking for some compensation.

Title: This letter is neither extortion nor blackmail.
Author FISCHER RK; St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Date: 19881201
Bates: 507769691/9693
Collection: RJ Reynolds
Pages: 3
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/str14d00