John Forster

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John Forster was a husband and father of five children who lived in Minnesota, and who died at age 46 from lung cancer caused by R.J. Reynolds' Camel cigarettes.

Forster started smoking Camel cigarettes in approximately 1954, at age 15. Despite repeated attempts to quit smoking by virtually every means possible, he remained addicted to cigarettes until he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in November, 1984. Just a few months later, in March, 1985, he and his wife, Ann Forster filed a product liability action against R.J. Reynolds, the manufacturer of Camel cigarettes, and Erickson Petroleum Corporation, d/b/a Holiday Station Stores, Inc., the retailer from which he bought most of his cigarettes. Mr. Forster's lung cancer unfortunately spread rapidly, and he died on June 25, 1985, only seven months after his initial diagnosis.

Reynolds had claimed that the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1331- 40), preempted Minnesota's right to enforce its product liability law.[1]

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