SAN DIEGO – The family of baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to hold the tobacco industry accountable for his death.
The Gwynn family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the tobacco industry claiming Gwynnn was manipulated into the addiction to smokeless tobacco that ultimately killed him, the New York Times reported. The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in San Diego.
The family and their attorney will make public statements about the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon.
Gwynn, who played for the San Diego Padres, was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer in 2010 and died four years later. He was 54 years old.
Gwynn used smokeless tobacco on a daily basis for 31 years and was one of many professional ball players to use chewing tobacco.
Studies show about 30 percent of major and minor league players use smokeless tobacco, though rates have been declining since the late 1990s.
In 2011, the league implemented its first rules related to smokeless tobacco products. The rules prohibit teams from providing tobacco to players and prevents players from carrying tobacco tins in their uniforms or doing interviews while using chewing tobacco.
Yet the players’ union stopped short of banning tobacco use on the field.