California resident Leena Gurevitch has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Philip Morris USA over its Merit self-extinguishing cigarettes. The lawsuit claims that the paper used in the cigarettes pose a greater risk for fire and injury than regular cigarettes, Bloomberg News reported May 21.
Philip Morris introduced the new cigarette paper to reduce the number of fires that are started by cigarettes; such fires kill 1,000 people each year.
But the lawsuit claims that Philip Morris failed to warn consumers that the paper causes pieces of partly burned tobacco to fall from the ends of the cigarette.
“Despite the existence of evidence that the new Merit cigarette did cause harm to individuals due to the coal drop-off, defendants hid the risks from the public,” according to the lawsuit, which seeks class-action status.
The lawsuit calls for Philip Morris to surrender any profits realized from the sales of the self-extinguishing cigarettes.