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World

 

Court awards $28b in damages to widow of chain-smoker who died of lung cancer

Published on Jul 20, 2014 7:32 AM
 
An R.J. Reynolds sign is seen outside the 1-million-square-foot cigarette manufacturing facility in Tobaccoville, North Carolina on May 23, 2014. A Florida jury has awarded the widow of a chain- smoker who died of lung cancer punitive damages of more than US$23 billion (S$28.5 billion) in her lawsuit against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the United States' second-biggest cigarette maker. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ORLANDO, Florida (REUTERS) - A Florida jury has awarded the widow of a chain- smoker who died of lung cancer punitive damages of more than US$23 billion (S$28.5 billion) in her lawsuit against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the United States' second-biggest 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 Mr Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the woman's lawyer.

Mrs Cynthia Robinson, of Pensacola, sued the cigarette maker in 2008 over the death of her husband, Michael Johnson.

Mr Johnson, a hotel shuttle-bus driver who died of lung cancer in 1996 at age 36, smoked one to three packs a day for more than 20 years, starting at age 13, lawyer Chris Chestnut said.

 
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