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Mar 1, 2010 12:30 am

Testifying for Tobacco

Jon Wiener,"Big Tobacco and the Historians," The Nation, 25 February, is essential reading, I think, for historians. I've often disagreed with Jon, but I'm grateful for his inquiry into the willingness of 40 American historians to sell their reputations to American tobacco interests. I'm also disappointed to learn from his article that some of those historians are in positions of substantial professional influence.

From Robert N. Proctor,"‘Everyone knew but no one had proof': tobacco industry use of medical history expertise in US courts, 1990–2002," Tobacco Control, 2006, Table 2"Historians (36 in total) who have testified as expert witnesses for the American tobacco industry, 1986–2005 (excludes consulting witnesses). Compiled with Louis M Kyriakoudes":

  • Ambrose, Stephen E (deceased). Testified in Covert v. Liggett Group (1994); deposed in Florida v. American Tobacco (1997)
  • Bean, Jonathan J, Southern Illinois University. Designated in St. Louis v. American Tobacco (2004)
  • Berman, Hyman, University of Minnesota. Deposed for and testified in Minnesota v. Philip Morris (1997 and 1998)
  • Burns, Augustus M III, University of Florida. Deposed in Florida v. American Tobacco (1997)
  • Carstensen, Fred V, University of Connecticut. Deposed for and testified in Cipollone v. Liggett (1987 and 1988)
  • Chesson, Michael B, University of Massachusetts, Boston. Provided affidavit in Longden and Longden v. Philip Morris (2003)
  • Cobbs-Hoffman, Elizabeth, San Diego State University. Deposed for and trial testimony in Boeken v. Philip Morris (2001)
  • Dibacco, Thomas V, American University. Deposed in and testified for Eastman v. Brown and Williamson (2003); deposed in Blue Cross v. Philip Morris (2000); deposed in Engle v. RJ Reynolds (1999)
  • English, Peter Calvin, Duke University. Testified in Blue Cross v. Philip Morris (2001); expert report and deposition in USDOJ v. Philip Morris (2001); deposed in Bullock v. Philip Morris (2002), etc
  • Ford, Lacy K, University of South Carolina, Columbia. Testified in Raulerson v. RJ Reynolds (1997), Engle v. RJ Reynolds (1999), Little v. Brown and Williamson(2000), Jones v. RJ Reynolds (2000), Kenyon v. RJ Reynolds (2001), Allen v. RJ Reynolds (2003); deposed in Engle v. RJ Reynolds (1997), Blankenship v. Philip Morris (2000) and Little v. Brown and Williamson (2000); deposed for and testified in Karbiwnyk v. RJ Reynolds (1997); designated in St Louis v. American Tobacco (2004); cross-noticed for Keegan v. RJ Reynolds
  • Graham, Otis, University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Testified in Kotler v. American Tobacco (1990); deposed in Texas v. American Tobacco (1997)
  • Green, George D, University of Minnesota. Deposed for Minnesota v. Philip Morris (1997)
  • Harkness, Jon M, University of Minnesota. Testified in Boerner v. Brown and Williamson (2003)
  • Harvey, Paul, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Deposed in Coolidge v. Philip Morris (2004)
  • Hilty, James, Temple University. Testified in Carter v. Philip Morris (2003)
  • Hoff, Joan, Ohio University, Athens. Testified in Rogers v. RJ Reynolds (1996), Dunn v. RJ Reynolds (1998), and Tomkin v. American Brands (2001); deposed in Dunn v. RJ Reynolds (1997 and 1998) and in Tomkin v. American Tobacco (2001); deposed for and testified in Whitely v. Raybestos-Manhattan (1999 and 2000)
  • Hudson, Robert P, University of Kansas (deceased). Deposed in Allgood v. RJ Reynolds (1994)
  • Judd, Jacob, Lehman College. Expert report filed in Standish v. American Tobacco (2003); testified in Rose v. American Tobacco (2003)
  • Lowery, Charles D, Mississippi State University. Deposed for Mississippi AG (1997).
  • Ludmerer, Kenneth M, Washington University (see table 1)
  • Martin, James Kirby, University of Houston. Deposed in Burton v. RJ Reynolds (1996), deposed and testified in Ironworkers v. Philip Morris (1999) and in Falise v. American Tobacco (2000 and 2001)
  • May, Glenn A, University of Oregon. Testified in Williams v. Philip Morris (1999)
  • Miller, Donald L, Lafayette College. Expert Report submitted for Gerrity v. Lorillard (2005)
  • Norrell, Robert Jeff, University of Tennessee. Testified in Newcomb v. RJ Reynolds (1999) and in Scott v. American Tobacco (2003); deposed for Scott v. American Tobacco (2000); deposed for and testified in Karney v. Brown and Williamson (1998 and 1999); earlier work for litigation in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana
  • Parrish, Michael E, University of California, San Diego. Testified in Miele v. American Tobacco (2003); deposed for Barnes (Arch) v. American Tobacco (1997), Washington v. American Tobacco, and Boerner v. Brown and Williamson (2003); deposed and testified for Henley v. Philip Morris (1998 and 1999); affidavit for Frosina v. Philip Morris (1997)
  • Parssinen, Terry M, University of Tampa. Testified in Arnitz v. Philip Morris (2004)
  • Rose, Mark H., Florida Atlantic University. Disclosed in Brown v. Liggett (2003)
  • Sansing, David G, University of Mississippi, Oxford. Testified in Boerner v. Brown and Williamson (2003); deposed in Mississippi Tobacco Litigation (1997); deposed for and testified in Horton v. American Tobacco (1990) and in Wilks v. American Tobacco (1993); testimony and/or deposition in Carter v. Philip Morris, Grinnell v. American Tobacco, Schuts and Walton, etc
  • Schaller, Michael, University of Arizona. Testified in Reller v. Philip Morris (2003), Lucier v. Philip Morris (2003), Frankson v. Brown & Williamson (2003), etc
  • Sharp, James Roger, Syracuse University. Deposed for and testified in Mehlman v. Philip Morris (2000 and 2001)
  • Skates, John Ray, Jr, University of Southern Mississippi. Deposed in Mississippi Tobacco Litigation (1997)
  • Snetsinger, John G, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Deposition in Bullock v. Philip Morris (2002)
  • Stueck, William, University of Georgia. Expert disclosure and affidavit submitted in Eiser v. Brown and Williamson (2002); affidavit in Marsh v. Brown and Williamson (2004).
  • Tulchin, Joseph S, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC. Testified in Widdick v. Brown and Williamson (1998) Wilson, Theodore A, University of Kansas. Deposed for Barnes [Arch] v. American Tobacco (1997), Clay v. Philip Morris (1999), Blankenship v. Philip Morris (2000), Smith (1999); deposed and expert report for USDOJ v. Philip Morris (2001), etc
  • Table 3 Scholars who have provided historical consulting for the tobacco industry but have not testified (partial listing):
  • Abrams, Richard M, University of California, Berkeley
  • Burnham, John C, Ohio State University
  • Clune, John J, Jr, University of West Florida
  • Engelmann, Larry, San Jose State University
  • Ettling, John, University of Houston and President of SUNY Plattsburgh
  • Harp, Richard, University of Kansas (Department of English)
  • Harley, David, formerly of Oxford University
  • Hook, Ernest, University of California, Berkeley
  • Jones, James H, formerly of University of Houston
  • Klein, Herbert S, Stanford University
  • Kline, Benjamin, San Jose State University
  • Kushner, Howard I, Emory University
  • Lankevich, George J, Bronx Community College, Manhasset
  • Means, Richard K, Auburn University (Department of Physical Education)
  • Muldoon, James, Rutgers University
  • Musto, David, Yale University
  • Savitt, Todd, East Carolina University (Medical Humanities)
  • Sobel, Robert N, Hofstra University (deceased)
  • Sosna, Morton (formerly Stanford)
  • Talley, Colin L, Columbia University
  • Unger, Irwin, New York University
  • See also: David Rosner,"Trials and Tribulations: What Happens When Historians Enter the Courtroom," Law and Contemporary Problems, Winter 2009.

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    More Comments:

    Ralph E. Luker - 2/27/2010

    Ambrose, like many of the historians who have testified for tobacco company interests, had no special knowledge of the medical and legal history at stake. More than any of the others, his testimony has had a lot of publicity. See, for instance: Laura Maggi, "Bearing Witness for Tobacco," American Prospect, 30 November 2002.

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    Dave Stone - 2/27/2010

    Fullest account of Ambrose's testimony I was able to find was here.

    Dave Stone - 2/27/2010

    Weird--what sort of expertise would Stephen Ambrose bring to bear on a tobacco lawsuit? Was an intern browsing in the military history section of Barnes & Noble looking for historians?