Volume 74, Number 5

November 1999

Decertification of Statewide Tobacco Class Actions

Susan E. Kearns

Tobacco litigation splintered into statewide class actions after the Fifth Circuit decertified a nationwide class of “nicotine-dependent persons” in Castano v. American Tobacco Co. In this Note, Susan Kearns analyzes “son of Castano” class actions as a vehicle for adjudicating individual tobacco claims. Reviewing two recent tobacco class actions, she argues that statewide class actions confront the same obstacles that required decertification of the nationwide Castano class. She contends that litigant autonomy, judicial efficiency, and due process considerations should preclude the certification of a “son of Castano” class action in state or federal court.