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Jury Awards $23.6 Billion
in Florida Smoking Case

New York Times, by Frances Robles

Original Article

Posted By:LittleHoodedMonk, 7/19/2014 4:53:29 PM

Miami - A jury in northwest Florida awarded a staggering $23 billion judgment late Friday against the country’s second-largest tobacco company for causing the death of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer at the age of 36. Michael Johnson Sr. died in 1996 after smoking for more than 20 years. In 2006, his widow, Cynthia Robinson, of Pensacola, sued the R. J. Reynolds Company, the maker of the Kool brand cigarettes her husband had smoked, arguing that the company had deliberately concealed the health hazards its product caused. The four-week trial ended Wednesday. The jury deliberated for 18 hours over two days,

Comments:
I can only think that a whole lot of profits and bonuses for R. J. Reynolds Company just went up in smoke. Don´t understand these type of jury awards. They need to be reigned in [tort reform].

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: TheCommish, 7/19/2014 4:58:36 PM     (No. 9931905)

Two words - In...Sane

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Reply 2 - Posted by: ruready?, 7/19/2014 4:59:49 PM     (No. 9931906)

"the company had deliberately concealed the health hazards its product caused."

Makers of those new funny-lookin´ cigarettes also have their payday coming.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Hermoine, 7/19/2014 5:04:08 PM     (No. 9931909)

They got themselves a good and ignorant jury. The damages piece of the judgment won´t stand. The judge will reduce it. This has happened before (crazy amounts awarded) with the judge having to overturn it and establish a reasonable amount.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: southernboy, 7/19/2014 5:04:59 PM     (No. 9931910)

Strange! Every ad card I see for cigarettes at the gas pump have more health warnings than anything else.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: mc squared, 7/19/2014 5:05:12 PM     (No. 9931911)

Obama voters.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: killerbee, 7/19/2014 5:11:22 PM     (No. 9931915)

Wow. Morons. If he started smoking in 1976, I think he was made well aware -- by the cigarette companies themselves -- that smoking can cause a variety of diseases.



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Reply 7 - Posted by: SouthSanAntonio, 7/19/2014 5:15:21 PM     (No. 9931918)

I´m 56, and I have sure known the dangers of smoking my whole life. This guy was only in his 30´s. I´m pretty sure he knew exactly what the danger was, and didn´t care.

Apparently, they need to start giving intelligence tests to potential jurors...


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Reply 8 - Posted by: web, 7/19/2014 5:20:42 PM     (No. 9931922)

I think they do give intelligence tests to potential jurors, and the intelligent ones usually manage to get out of jury duty. Democrats and leftists certainly are not my "peers." They are either too stupid or ignorant to give an intelligent verdict.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Former lurker, 7/19/2014 5:21:23 PM     (No. 9931923)

Smoking marijuana is much more dangerous than tobacco. Who are the potheads going to sue, the individual states who legalized it or the cartels?

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Hazymac, 7/19/2014 5:21:30 PM     (No. 9931924)

Every smoker´s lawsuit ever filed against a tobacco company should have been thrown out with prejudice before going to trial. Increasingly dire warnings have been on cigarette packs since the mid-1960s. No one with a mental age of greater than two is unaware that inhaling tobacco smoke--or any smoke, for that matter--is a health hazard. End of story. The jurors are a bunch of idiots, easily led. It´s probably too much to expect to hope the judge will remedy this injustice.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: fritzilou, 7/19/2014 5:32:54 PM     (No. 9931933)

THERE ARE EARLY WARNING SIGNS THAT CIGARETTES ARE EFFECTING ONE´S HEALTH. For me it was a sore throat and trouble breathing in the smog of Los Angeles. II HAD SMOKED SINCE 18 YEARS OLD AND NOW I WAS A MOTHER OF TWO. What did I do? I quite smoking on the Inauguration Day of President Lyndon Johnson (first election). I never looked back. Figure out how old I am and I´m in excellent health; all prior problems went away shortly after quitting the dirty habit. I plan on living another 20 years or more; I´m an optimist. This verdict is ridiculous, since we have known for a long time that smoking can kill. Who makes the money? ..............LAWYERS.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: SheikYerBooty, 7/19/2014 5:56:31 PM     (No. 9931948)

It´s called lawsuit reparations.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: littleorby, 7/19/2014 6:03:59 PM     (No. 9931956)

The most sinister thing about nicotine is its ability to suppress emotions without showing the obvious effects of cocaine, heron, alcohol and etc.: therefore, users emotions cannot mature.

You smokers whom read comments on this site, please ask yourselves. Have your emotions matured one iota from the time you started smoking? Of course they haven´t. If you began smoking as a teenager, you stopped maturing in your teens: you´ve only gained experience: Think about that.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: FenwayFrank, 7/19/2014 6:22:50 PM     (No. 9931972)

The number of jurors likely exceeded exponentially the combined IQ of the jury.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: 3XALADY, 7/19/2014 6:38:56 PM     (No. 9931990)

Pigford III.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Merlin251, 7/19/2014 7:43:27 PM     (No. 9932046)

It would appear that Michael Johnson Sr. was a product of our public educational system who failed to read, or couldn´t read/understand/comprehend, the warnings prominently displayed on every pack of Kools. It´s not like tobacco isn´t approved of, totally regulated, highly taxed, and completely controlled by the government now is it!!!

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Bur Oak, 7/19/2014 7:52:26 PM     (No. 9932053)

Only $23 billion? What pikers, they could of made it a trillion.

It´s pretty easy giving away other peoples´ money. That´s what our government does with our money.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Ken M., 7/19/2014 7:58:23 PM     (No. 9932060)

In hindsight, back in the´60´s, the tobacco companies should have quickly publicized the dangers they discovered from their research findings , especially the addictive and other effects of Big Nik.

Agree with other replies here -- the lawsuits are stupid. At the most (if a favorable jury decision), any of them should be roughly equivalent to a life insurance settlement.

I live in Vegas, retired, about 10 min. walk to a casino (non-smoker, but that´s a whole other issue). It´s my local bar, with lots of other regulars in there every day. I see people sitting at the slots - again every day - that appear to be stressed out, smoking furiously, like they have just had a car wreck or something.

It´s an extremely powerful drug, and it seems to affect people differently. So, once in a while, we hear some sob story, like this one, and -- as someone pointed out earlier here -- they picked the "right" jurors. and this kind of decision happens.

Like most of the LDotters here; don´t want big government, etc., but I do favor those disgusting ´quit smoking´ ads.

Next up: there´s an Asian Invasion here, and virtually all the males are chain smokers. It will probably be after my time, but I´ll bet that sometime in the future there will be a shocking expose on the death rate of Asian males

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Keekng, 7/19/2014 8:08:58 PM     (No. 9932068)

$26B sounds just a tad excessive....s/

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Reply 20 - Posted by: Keekng, 7/19/2014 8:12:40 PM     (No. 9932071)

That guy didn´t die from smoking. He died because he did not eat his Cheerio´s!

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Reply 21 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 7/19/2014 8:24:37 PM     (No. 9932077)

Why not a gazillion, billion, trillion? The jury seems interested in grabbing headlines with this ridiculous amount. Must be a jury of all rabid non-smokers who are activist idiots.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: Wakeupcall, 7/19/2014 9:48:41 PM     (No. 9932126)

Jurors are a bunch of absurd idiots.

No award for any law suit should be for more than what the person suiting would earn in his lifetime plus 50% for pain and suffering.

Lawyers would be out of business.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 7/19/2014 11:12:58 PM     (No. 9932191)

Every day you get up and make choices-some good, some bad. He chose to ignore the warnings and light up.

Seems like the jury is sticking it to the man and seem to think all corporations have deep pockets. Why not base it on his lost of salary and medical bills ?

People that raise tobacco in this country pick raw tobacco in the fields and their hands are covered in the tar like substance called nicotine. A good portion never get cancer. It´s the additives added later.

Keep in mind it´s one of our exports to countries like China.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: cheeflo, 7/20/2014 12:33:49 AM     (No. 9932247)

I doubt this award will stand. It´s irrational and excessive.

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