Edwin M. Green, Sr.

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

Edwin M. Green, Sr. was the Miami cancer victim in Green v. American Tobacco Company, c. 1958.

Mr. Green was a Miami contractor whose doctor told him in 1958 that he had lung cancer. Before he died -- at the age of 49 years in 1958 -- he left a deposition with his lawyer in which he said he smoked two to three packs of "Lucky Strike" cigarettes a day for almost 30 years, and requested a damage suit be filed on behalf of his widow and his estate against the manufacturer of his cigarettes, the American Tobacco Company.

The Green case became the first cigarette-cancer damage lawsuit in the U.S. in which the plaintiff convinced the jury that his smoking cigarettes caused his cancer.

In August, 1960, in a precedent-setting ruling, a U.S. District Court jury in Miami that consisted of eleven cigarette smokers decided that smoking Luckies had in fact been a cause of Mr. Green's lung cancer, but added that the company was not liable because it couldn't have known such a thing would happen. The U.S. circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision, but then granted a rehearing. At the same time, sought a ruling from the Florida Supreme Court on what the company's liability was under state law.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that a manufacturer who sells a product for human consumption implies that it is safe. Justice E. Harris Drew, himself a cigarette smoker, advised the Court of Appeals that the company must be held liable for even unpredictable adverse health effects of their products. [1]

Sourcewatch resources

External resources


  1. Newsweek Ridiculous Ruling Newspaper article. June 7, 1963. Bates No. 1003043734A

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