Gwynn's family settles suit with tobacco company

The family of Tony Gwynn has reached a confidential settlement in its wrongful death suit against the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., according to reports.

FILE PHOTO: A picture of former San Diego Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn is seen at Petco Park in San Diego, California June 16, 2014. Gwynn, one of the greatest hitters of his generation, died on Monday at age 54 after a battle with cancer, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum said. REUTERS/Sam Hodgson

Gwynn, who played all 20 seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the San Diego Padres, died in 2014 of cancer of the salivary gland. He was 54.

The case had been set to go to trial in September 2019 in San Diego Superior Court, but the two sides confirmed the settlement on Friday.

“It’s resolved, and it’s been resolved to the satisfaction of all the parties involved,” family attorney David Casey told USA Today.

“We assess litigation on a case-by-case basis and determined this agreement was in the best interests of the company,” Steve Callahan, a spokesman for the company, told the newspaper.

Gwynn’s widow and children filed the wrongful death lawsuit in 2016. In their filing, they contended Gwynn was “hopelessly addicted” to the company’s smokeless tobacco and started using it in 1977. That was about 10 years before health warnings were printed on the packaging of the company’s products.

The family had sought unspecified damages from U.S. Smokeless Tobacco.

Gwynn retired after the 2001 season at age 41 with a .338 career batting average. He won eight National League batting titles and finished with 3,141 career hits.

Major league players no longer can use the smokeless tobacco that Gwynn’s family said caused his death while in the stadium. It was banned as part of the collective bargaining agreement signed between players and the league in 2016. Several major league cities already had banned it at stadiums in their cities, and minor league baseball has banned it since the early 1990s.

--Field Level Media