Widow awarded $23.6 billion in smoking lawsuit
July 20 , 2014
A jury in Florida has awarded a widow, Cynthia Robinson, $23.6 billion in punitive damages in her lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, she said, was negligent in failing to inform her husband Michael Johnson that nicotine is addictive and smoking can result in lung cancer.
Johnson, who started smoking as a 13-year-old, died of lung cancer aged 36.
J. Jeffery Raborn, assistant general counsel for R.J. Reynolds, described the damages awarded as “grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law," adding that the company would promptly challenge the verdict.