US tobacco firms defeat hospitals

BBC News

Six major US tobacco companies have defeated a lawsuit by hospitals seeking compensation for treating patients with smoking-related illnesses.

Thirty-seven hospitals in the state of Missouri had claimed cigarette companies delivered an "unreasonably dangerous" product.

They sought more than $455m reimbursement for treating uninsured smokers who had not paid for care.

The hospitals treat many destitute, non-paying patients.

They said medical ethics required them to treat people in need, regardless of their ability to pay.

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