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|Subpoenas flying in Tony Gwynn tobacco case as Mr. Padre documentary premieres
The U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company has been Custom Football Jerseys aggressively seeking evidence against deceased baseball legend Tony Gwynn and already has served subpoenas to various dentists, healthcare providers and others with records that could help the company fight a lawsuit filed by Gwynn’s family in 2016.
The company said it served subpoenas on 49 entities so far, including several hospitals and oral health providers in San Diego County, according to court filings. The company also said it anticipated serving 11 more subpoenas, with Major League Baseball and two San Diego pharmacies on its planned list.
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The subpoenas are part of the company’s effort to
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gather evidence to defend itself from the Gwynn family’s lawsuit, which blames the company for Gwynn’s death in 2014.
The amount of subpoenas served so far show the breadth of the case at play.
“The factual, legal and medical issues involved in the case cover many years,” the company’s attorneys explained in a recent court filing.
It also show what the Gwynn family faces as it dukes it out in court with a big tobacco adversary.
“The tobacco companies are indeed infamous for their scorched-earth litigation tactics,” said Richard Daynard, a law professor at Northeastern University and tobacco industry critic who is not involved in the case. “This is, indeed, a huge list. They are certainly within their rights in getting medical records from his treating physicians related to his cancer, but that couldn't possibly justify these subpoenas to all these individuals and entities. They could also fairly explore alternative causes, but only circumstances that have been scientifically demonstrated to relate to the type of cancer he had and died from.”
The information being requested in the subpoenas wasn’ Custom Dallas Cowboys Jerseys t detailed in recent court records. But it’s no secret what the company is generally looking for – evidence that casts doubt on the company’s culpability and any link between the company’s product and Gwynn’s demise. Gwynn battled cancer of the salivary gland before his death at 54.
The wrongful death lawsuit is trying to make the company pay for it and was filed by Gwynn’s widow, son and daughter. “This case seeks to hold them responsible for killing a baseball legend and a wonderful human being,” their suit states.
They said Gwynn became addicted to smokeless tobacco and used it for more than 30 years, starting in 1977, about 10 years before warnings appeared on the products. By the time warnings appeared on the products, they said Gwynn was “already hopelessly addicted to their product which eventually caused his cancer and killed him.”
The company said in a recent court filing that the parties have been working on “voluminous document collection from several entities.”
“Although the process has been ongoing, remaining document collection is anticipated to take months,” the company said in a court filing.
The company previously answered the suit with a basic defense, denying the lawsuit’s allegations and saying that the family’s damages, if any, “were the direct result of pre-existing medical conditions.” It also said Gwynn was “warned or otherwise made aware of the alleged risks of using smokeless tobacco products.” It argued that the lawsuit’s claims are barred “because those risks, to the extent they exist, are and have been commonly known.”
After once being part of the game’s culture, smokeless
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The Gwynn case has no trial date yet and previously has been beset by delays as it switched judges and courts. It is being played out in Superior Court in San Diego, where Gwynn was an iconic hitter for the hometown Padres. A documentary about him premieres Tuesday on the MLB Network entitled “Mr. Padre.”