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Tobacco companies have also received various degrees of immunity from civil suits. For example, from 1988 to 1998, the California legislature granted tobacco companies complete immunity from actions for injury or death caused by a tobacco product, except for actions based on a manufacturing defect or breach of an express warranty. See Cal. Civ. Code § 1714.45 (added by Stats.1987, ch. 1498, § 3, p. 5778); Myers v. Philip Morris Companies, Inc., 28 Cal. 4th 828, 831–32 (2002) (“The first version [of section 1714.45 of California’s Civil Code], which we here sometimes refer to as the Immunity Statute, granted tobacco companies complete immunity in certain product liability lawsuits as of January 1, 1988.”). Additionally, as part of the “Master Settlement Agreement” between tobacco companies and the Attorney General of 46 states, tobacco companies received immunity from future legal claims that states may have for, among other things, the use, sale, distribution, and manufacture of tobacco products. This settlement applies broadly to claims brought by states, but does not extend to suits brought by state residents.
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