Florida Jury Awards $23.6B Verdict In Big Tobacco Lawsuit
That’s the amount the R.J. Reynolds company will have to pay in one of the largest verdicts for a single plaintiff on Florida history.
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A state jury awarded the punitive damages Friday to the estate of Michael Johnson Sr., who died in 1996 from lung cancer after years of smoking cigarettes, attorney Christopher Chestnut told NBC News. Johnson’s estate previously won a $17 million verdict as compensation for his family’s loss.
“This jury sent a message and gave 23.6 billion reasons why you can’t lie to consumers,” said Chestnut, who along with attorney Willie Gary represent 400 cases in Florida against big tobacco companies, including R.J. Reynolds.
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