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Smoker's widow awarded billions in suit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
Smoker's widow awarded billions in suit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco

A Florida jury has slammed the nation's No. 2 cigarette maker, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., with $23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996. The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145-billion class-action verdict. That ruling also said smokers and their families need only prove addiction and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths. Last year, Florida's highest court re-approved that decision, which made it easier for sick smokers or their survivors to pursue lawsuits against tobacco companies without having to prove to the court again that...

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