Donald A. LaBelle

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

Donald A. LaBelle in 1998 filed a lawsuit in North Carolina in 1998 against Brown & Williamson and Philip Morris alleging that the tobacco companies made cigarettes that were defective in design and this caused his wife, Christine, a smoker, to die prematurely of lung cancer in 1997 at the age of 40 after smoking the companies' defective cigarettes. LaBelle charged that a number of tobacco companies had developed designs that successfully removed harmful constituents from cigarette smoke, and that they had gone on to develop prototype cigarettes with reduced health effects, but that they never marketed these products. Instead, they kept them out of the marketplace to help support the argument that smoking may not cause cancer. LaBelle charged that the "addictive, carcinogenic and pathologic nature of Defendants' cigarettes was beyond the reasonable expectations of the youthful and inexperienced ordinary consumer." LaBelle also charged that the tobacco companies had conspired to generate a false controversy about the health effects of cigarettes.

Ms. LaBelle left behind an 8 year old son, and a family who had to pay for her medical bills, burial and funeral expense.[1][2]

Testifying in the case were Jerry Frank Whidby, a retired Philip Morris chemist, and William Anthony Farone, an ex-Philip Morris scientist.

Related SourceWatch resources

Exernal resources


  1. R.L. Motley, et al, Ness Motley Donald A. Labelle, Plaintiff, V. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Defendants, Plaintiff's Responses to Rule 26.03 Interrogatories to be Answered and Documents to be Produced, Civil Action No. 2-98-3255-23 Court pleading. November 12, 1988. 46 pp
  2. J. Price, J.A. Wilson, Lorillard New Case Donald A. LaBelle v Brown & Williamson Memorandum, fax cover sheet. 1 pp. November 11, 1998. Bates No. 96740432A

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