CA denies appeal to dismiss case

The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the plea of Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. to dismiss the damage suit filed by a Makati City resident who claimed he was enticed by television advertisements to smoke Philip Morris cigarettes that led to his lung cancer in 2000.

In a decision written by Associate Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta, the CA said that Judge Winlove Dumayas of the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) did not abuse his discretion in denying the cigarette firm’s motion to dismiss the case filed by a certain Vincent Reyes.

In his complaint, Reyes claimed that through television advertisements, he was enticed to smoke Philip Morris since he was 14 years old and by year 2000, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Reyes pleaded the trial court to order Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. to pay him R500,000 in damages.

The cigarette firm sought the dismissal of the complaint before the trial court on the ground of prescription and lack of cause of action.

On Aug. 12, 2005, the RTC dismissed the plea of Philip Morris. It also denied the firm’s motion for reconsideration on Jan. 14, 2006, prompting the firm to elevate the case before the CA.

In resolving the issue, the CA said that based on the pleadings and evidence presented the cause of action had not prescribed.

The appellate court said that the case against Philip Morris could not be dismissed on account of prescription because Reyes filed an amended complaint to correctly indicate the address of the cigarette firm, considering that the original complaint was not served upon Philip Morris because it was no longer holding office at the address indicated in the complaint. (RGP) (ManilaBulletin)

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