SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court has lifted legal deadlines for smokers who later develop diseases like lung cancer.

Lawyers who filed the lawsuit say Thursday’s unanimous ruling in San Francisco will likely allow new smoker suits to be filed against the tobacco industry and keep alive lawsuits that may have been thrown out because of expired legal deadlines.

The case before the court involved former smoker Nikki Pooshs, who was diagnosed in 1989 with smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 1989 and a couple of years later with periodontal disease.

But Pooshs didn’t sue the tobacco industry until she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003.

Cigarette makers argued the suit should be dismissed because California law gives people two years to file suit after discovery of an injury.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. HooDatIS? says:

    I am so glad people can sue tobacco pimps
    my mother died a few yrs ago she smoked until she died
    57 way too young
    god bless smokers, keep them healthy and let them live
    i hope u all can kick the habit soon

  2. Sistagirl Young says:

    I am one of the many who smoked and did so for a long time. When I started smoking cigarettes were only 35 cents a pack. Yeah. Lo-o-o-o-o-ng time. I”m giving it up. Enough is enough. It was like putting a contract on myself. Everytime I purchased a pack of cigarettes I was “paying” the tobacco company to kill me. How smart was that? Today is my tenth day without a cigarette. Go,Sistagirl. It ain’t easy but there ain’t nothin’ I can’t do once I put my mind to it. For all of you who do not smoke–I hope you never do.

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