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Widow: Jury sent tobacco company a $23B message

Published July 21, 2014 4:45 pm

Public health • Florida woman knows she is unlikely to get money from verdict.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New York • A Florida widow awarded $23.6 billion in the death of her chain-smoking husband says the massive verdict is a message to Big Tobacco.

Legal experts and industry analysts say the punitive damages — $23,623,718,906.62, to be precise — almost certainly will be significantly reduced on appeal, if not thrown out entirely. In another major tobacco trial, a $28 billion verdict in a 2002 case in Los Angeles turned into $28 million after appeals.

But Cynthia Robinson of Pensacola says the figure almost doesn't matter. Her husband started smoking at 13 and died of lung cancer at 36. She says R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has to own up to what happened to her husband. Legal experts say she probably won't see much of the money.



The tobacco company plans to appeal.

 

 

 

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