Unbelievable. www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/19/us-usa-tobacco-award-idUSKBN0FO0ZM20140719. Florida jury awards billion punitive damages against PM Reynolds BY Unbelievable www reuters com/article/2014/07/19/us-usa-tobacco-award-idUSKBN0FO0ZM20140719 Florida jury awards billion punitive damages against PM Reynolds BY
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Florida jury awards billion
punitive damages against PM Reynolds
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RELATED Tm“: (Reuters) - A Florida jury has awarded the widow of a
chain smoker who died of lung cancer punitive damages
of more than billion in her lawsuit against the .
Reynolds Tobacco Company, the nation' s cigarette maker.
The judgment, returned on Friday night, was the largest in Florida history in
a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a single plaintiff, according to Ry an J Alison,
a spokesman for the woman' s lawyer, Chris Chestnut.
Cynthia Robinson of Florida Panhandle city of Pensacola sued the cigarette
maker in 21: 11: 18 over the death of her husband, Michael Johnson.
Johnson, a hotel shuttle bus driver who died ofline cancer in 1. 995 at age 36,
smoked one to three packs a day for more no years, starting at age 1. 3,
Chestnut said.
He couldn' t quit. He was smoking the day he died," the lawyer told Reuters on
After a trial and L L hours of jury deliberations, the jury returned a
verdict granting the widow million and the couple' s son . 5 million in
compensatory damages.
The same jury deliberated for another seven hours before deciding to award
Robinson the additional sum of . 5 billion in punitive damages, according to
the verdict forms.
Lawyers for the tobacco company, a unit of Reynolds American Inc (Tsitra
whose brands include Camel cigarettes, could not immediately he reached for
Bat J. Jeffery Reborn, vice president and assistant general counsel for .
Reynolds, said in a statement quoted by the New York Times that the company
planned to challenge "this runaway verdict." Such industry appeals are often
Chestnut countered, ‘This wasn' t a runaway jury, it was a courageous one."
Robinson' s lawsuit originally was part of a large catisfaction litigation known
as the ‘Eagle case," filed in 1. 994 against tobacco companies.
in that case returned a verdict in 21: 11: 11: in favor of the plaintiffs
awarding $ 1. 45 billion in punitive damages, which at the time was the largest
such judgment in U. S. history.
That award, however, was tossed out in by the Florida Supreme Court,
which demystified the class, agreeing with a lower court that the group was too
disparate and each smoker smoked for different reasons.
Bat the court said the plaintiffs could file lawsuits individually. Robinson was
one of them.
The Florida high court also let stand the jury' s findings that cigarettes are
defective, dangerous and cause disease, and that Big Tobacco was negligent,
meaning those issues did not have to he in future lawsuits.
Editing by Steve Gorman and Sandra Maher)
Views: 1857 Submitted: 07/19/2014