Tobacco company fined $23.6 billion for man's death due to cancer

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Tobacco company fined for man's death
Miami, July 21: R.J Reynolds, one of the most popular cigarette makers, vows to fight the Escambia County jury's verdict of $23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer.

An executive with the R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company says the damages awarded are "grossly excessive", and the company will appeal.

The woman's lawyers said the punitive damages are the largest of any of thousands of similar cases filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class-action verdict.

The woman's husband started smoking when he was 13-years-old, and died of lung cancer when he was 36.

"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," said Christopher Chestnut, an attorney for Cynthia Robinson, who sued Reynolds.

The jury deliberated for 15 hours on Friday before slamming the tobacco company with the punitive fines. They determined that the tobacco company was negligent in informing the man that smoking causes lung cancer, and that nicotine is highly addictive.

The jury also awarded Robinson with $16.8 million in compensation.

OneIndia News

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