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Tony Gwynn’s family sues tobacco industry over baseball great’s death

San Diego Padres' Tony Gwynn fights back tears as he acknowledges the standing ovation prior to the Padres' game against the Colorado Rockies in San Diego, the final game of his career, The Hall of Famer died of oral cancer on June 16, 2014. He was 54.
San Diego Padres' Tony Gwynn fights back tears as he acknowledges the standing ovation prior to the Padres' game against the Colorado Rockies in San Diego, the final game of his career, The Hall of Famer died of oral cancer on June 16, 2014. He was 54. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

SAN DIEGO – Tony Gwynn’s widow and two children have filed a lawsuit seeking to hold the tobacco industry accountable for the Hall of Famer’s death.

The suit was filed in San Diego Superior Court by Alicia Gwynn and her children, Tony Jr. and Anisha Gwynn-Jones.

The suit says Gwynn started dipping as a 17-year-old freshman ballplayer at San Diego State. He died of oral cancer in 2014 at age 54.

READ MORE: California lawmakers ban tobacco chewing, something Major League Baseball couldn’t do

Defendants include Altria Group Corp., the parent company of Philip Morris, and US Smokeless Tobacco Co. LLC.

According to the lawsuit, “Once Defendants got Tony addicted to their products, he became a self-described ‘tobacco junkie”‘ who used 1 1/2 to 2 cans of Skoal per day.

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The suit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.