A lawsuit ruling brought by chain smoker’s widow against R.J. Reynolds was awarded the largest dollar amount of damages in history of any ruling against big tobacco.
“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,”
Stated Christopher Chestnut, one of Robinson’s lawyers.
It took 11 hours for the Jury to determine the case. Upon returning they awarded a compensatory payout of $7.3 million to Robinson and $9.6 million to the couple’s son.
Seven Hours Later
Then the jury took another 7 hours to determine the punitive award. This is when the multibillion-dollar damage award was dropped like a lead hammer.
Big Tobacco Fuming
“This verdict goes far beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented,” said company vice president and assistant general counsel J. Jeffrey Raborn.
He vowed to appeal the “runaway verdict” that Robinson’s legal team said was the largest wrongful death payout for a single plaintiff in Florida history.
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