1986 - Nathan Horton

Nathan Horton smoked Pall Malls for 30 years. He filed a law suit on the claim that cigarettes had been adulterated by the use of fertilizers and pesticides in excess of the government-approved limits. Horton died of lung cancer.

A first trial was held in Lexington, Mississippi. The witnesses were heard, the jury deliberated for eleven hours, but the judge called a mistrial "for reasons I do not feel would be advantageous to anyone" to reveal. Rumors about jury-tampering started to spread with reports that American Tobacco had come down to Holmes County giving out money.

No tampering charges were proven and two and a half years later the case was retried in Oxford Mississippi.

This time the jury ruled in favor of Horton, holding that the company had been "irresponsible" in monitoring the quantities of fertilizer and pesticides that was used to grow its tobacco. It did not award a penny to Norton's family.

His attorney, Don Barrett, was almost bankrupted after spending so much on the case and not getting anything back. Barrett later played a role in cases of individual smokers suing the industry for Medicaid damages. It is also Barrett who introduced Wigand to Scruggs.

 

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