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American Tobacco Co. v. Grinnell

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Grinnel filed suit against American Tobacco Company (American) after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A manufacturer does not have a duty to warn of the risks of his product if the risks of the product are common knowledge.

    Facts.

    Grinnel filed suit against American Tobacco Company (American) after being diagnosed with lung cancer. When Girnnel died, his family commenced the suit and the trial court granted summary judgment to American. The appellate court reversed and American appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether a manufacturer has a duty to warn of the risks of his product if the risks of the product are common knowledge?

    Held.

    No. Judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Because the risks of the product were not common knowledge when Grinnell started smoking, American had a duty to warn Grinnell of the addictive qualities of the product.

    Discussion.

    A manufacturer does not have a duty to warn of the risks of his product if the risks of the product are common knowledge.


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