A Florida jury has awarded the widow of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer 18 years ago record punitive damages of more than US$23 billion (RM73. 6 billion) in her lawsuit against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the nation’s second-biggest cigarette maker.
The judgement, returned on Friday night, was the largest in Florida history in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a single plaintiff, according to Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the woman’s lawyer, Chris Chestnut.
Cynthia Robinson of the Florida Panhandle city of Pensacola sued the cigarette maker in 2008 over the death of her husband, Michael Johnson, claiming the company conspired to conceal the health dangers and addictive nature of its products.
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 20 years, starting at age 13, Chestnut said.
“He couldn’t quit. He was smoking the day he died,” the lawyer told Reuters on Saturday.
Read more: http://www.therakyatpost.com/world/2014/07/20/chain-smokers-widow-awarded-rm73-6-billion-damages/#ixzz3806mLIvi