A Florida jury has returned one of the largest verdicts ever against a tobacco company in the case of Cynthia Robinson vs R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The jury awarded more than $16 million in compensatory damages and over $23 BILLION in punitive damages.
The jury decided that R.J. Reynolds was, negligent in informing Robinson’s husband, Michael Johnson Sr., that smoking causes lung cancer and that nicotine is highly addictive.
According to Robinson’s attorneys, “The company lied and marketed cigarettes as safe, yet they contained countless harmful chemicals.”
The case was once part of the historic Engle v. Liggett Group class-action suit. In that case, a jury awarded damages of more than $145 billion to a group of people with smoking-related disease and family members of deceased smokers.
Robinson’s attorney went on to say, “The jury wanted to send a statement that tobacco cannot continue to lie to the American people and the American government about the addictiveness of and the deadly chemicals in their cigarettes.”
Naturally, Reynolds things the damages are, “Grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law,” and will most likely appeal the ruling.
Read the original article here: www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/19/jury-hits-rj-reynolds-with-23b-verdict/12887315