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Husband suing smoking wife changes mind, twice

Sally Thomas September 2, 1997
Web posted at: 5:58 p.m. EDT (2158 GMT)

CHICAGO (CNN) -- Richard Thomas had changed his mind about suing his wife of 43 years to get her to quit smoking, but now he's proceeding with the federal case against Sally Thomas.

The retired Army colonel's attorney had filed court papers seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that Sally Thomas had agreed to stop smoking entirely. On Tuesday, however, the motion was withdrawn.

"She said, 'I was quitting smoking,' (but) the colonel has reason to believe that's not necessarily the case," said Christopher Helt, the attorney for Richard Thomas.

"She's not totally out of the nicotine bag," Thomas added. When the suit was originally filed, Thomas said he did it out of love because he didn't want to see Sally Thomas harm herself.

Helt contends that the suit is supported by the federal Clean Air Act, which forbids smoking in many public areas. A judge is scheduled to hear the case on October 9.

Copyright 1997   The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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