New York Times
Friday, 9/24/99, p. A27
by Richard Epstein
[continued from Index page back]
[Provided by Tobacco Daily News Summaries]
In an op-ed in the NEW YORK TIMES, Richard Epstein, law professor at the
University of Chicago, and a former consultant to Philip Morris, wrote
that the Justice Department's suit is entirely without merit.
theory, the key element to any successful civil fraud claim is
'differential knowledge' -- A cannot deceive B if B already knows the
truth. In this case, therefore, it is not enough to show that tobacco
companies hid information about the dangers of smoking."
must show that the companies knew something that the Government did not:
that smoking was potentially harmful. That contention seems impossible
to prove. . . . It is unseemly for the greatest litigating force on
earth to resort to a lawsuit at this late date -- after spending years
regulating and preaching against tobacco."