Received this from our old pal Reality Based Educator from Perdido Street School blog. He doesn't miss blogging but couldn't let this one pass by.
The Tisch Family has been doing damage to humans for a long long time... RBE
"Some retired players have likened the N.F.L.’s handling of its health crisis to that of the tobacco industry, which was notorious for using questionable science to play down the dangers of cigarettes.
Concussions can hardly be equated with smoking, which kills 1,300 people a day in the United States, and The Times has found no direct evidence that the league took its strategy from Big Tobacco. But records show a long relationship between two businesses with little in common beyond the health risks associated with their products.
In a letter to The Times, a lawyer for the league said, “The N.F.L. is not the tobacco industry; it had no connection to the tobacco industry,” which he called “perhaps the most odious industry in American history.”
Still, the records show that the two businesses shared lobbyists, lawyers and consultants. Personal correspondence underscored their friendships, including dinner invitations and a request for lobbying advice.
In 1997, to provide legal oversight for the committee, the league assigned Dorothy C. Mitchell, a young lawyer who had earlier defended the Tobacco Institute, the industry trade group. She had earned the institute’s “highest praise” for her work.
A co-owner of the Giants, Preston R. Tisch, also partly owned a leading cigarette company, Lorillard, and was a board member of both the Tobacco Institute and the Council for Tobacco Research, two entities that played a central role in misusing science to hide the risks of cigarettes."
"In 1992, amid rising concerns about concussions, Mr. Tisch — the Giants and Lorillard part owner — asked the cigarette company’s general counsel, Arthur J. Stevens, to contact the N.F.L. commissioner at the time, Mr. Tagliabue, about certain legal issues.
Mr. Stevens was not just any tobacco lawyer; he was a member of the industry’s secretive Committee of Counsel, which helped direct tobacco research projects. In a letter obtained by The Times, Mr. Stevens referred Mr. Tagliabue to two court cases alleging that the tobacco and asbestos industries had covered up the health risks of their products.
In one case, the family of a dead smoker sought internal documents that the tobacco industry had withheld on the grounds of lawyer-client privilege — which does not apply if invoked to cover up a crime. The judge in the case reacted angrily after reading those internal records.
“The documents speak for themselves in a voice filled with disdain for the consuming public and its health,” the judge, H. Lee Sarokin of Federal District Court in New Jersey, wrote earlier in 1992. Tobacco lawyers succeeded in having Judge Sarokin removed from the case.
Why an influential tobacco lawyer would recommend legal cases to the N.F.L. is not known, because neither Mr. Stevens nor Mr. Tagliabue would agree to be interviewed. Mr. Tisch died in 2005.