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$3.375 Million Florida Wrongful Death Verdict Awarded in Tobacco Lawsuit Against Philip Morris USA and RJ Reynolds

Once again, a jury is ordering RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA to pay Florida wrongful death damages to a cigarette smoker. The amount this time is $3.375 million—$1.5 million in punitive damages from each tobacco company and $750,000 in compensatory damages. The victim, John Huish, was 64 when he died of lung cancer in 1993. He started smoking cigarettes in the 1940’s—about 20 years before cigarette packs came with warning labels. Huish’s cigarettes of choice included Camels, Lucky Strikes, and Marlboro Reds and Lights. In her Florida tobacco litigation case, Huish’s widow, Anna Louise Huish, contended that her husband smoked not because he enjoyed it but because he was addicted to the nicotine in the cigarettes. He continued to smoke even after he developed a tumor in his lung. Her Florida wrongful death lawyer says that the RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris knew that their cigarettes contained carcinogens that cause cancer but that they covered this information up for years so that people would continue to smoke. Both Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds say they will appeal the verdict. Florida Tobacco Litigation In Engle v. Liggett Group, the Florida Supreme Court decertified a class-action complaint filed by Howard Engle and let each class member file his/her case. Edward Sweda, Jr., who is a senior lawyer for Northwestern University School of Law’s Tobacco Products Liability Project, says that 24 of the 35 Engle civil lawsuits that have gone to a jury since February 2009 have resulted in victories for plaintiffs. Huish’s tobacco lawsuit is an “Engle” progeny case. Jury awards $3M to widow in tobacco suit, Gainesville.com, February 24, 2011 Related Web Resources: Engle v. Liggett Group More Blog Posts: Palm Beach Tobacco Litigation: Smokers’s Widow Gets $2.2M Award and $270K in Punitive Damages from Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, September 1, 2010 Florida Tobacco Litigation: Jury Awards $26.6 Million Ft Lauderdale Wrongful Death Verdict to Widow of Smoker who Died from Lung Cancer, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, April 1, 2010

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