Runaway Jury

Florida jury awards $23.6 billion in smoking lawsuit –

CNN) — A Florida jury awarded a widow $23.6 billion in punitive damages in her lawsuit against tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, her lawyer said.

Cynthia Robinson claimed that smoking killed her husband, Michael Johnson, in 1996. She argued R.J. Reynolds was negligent in not informing him that nicotine is addictive and smoking can cause lung cancer. Johnson started smoking when he was 13 and died of lung cancer when he was 36.

The jury award Friday evening is “courageous,” said Robinson’s lawyer, Christopher Chestnut.

“If anyone saw the documents that this jury saw, I believe that person would have awarded a similar or greater verdict amount,” he said.

The Escambia County trial took four weeks and the jury deliberated for 15 hours, according to the Pensacola News Journal. The verdict included more than $16 million in compensatory damages, the newspaper said.

This is beyond the pale ludicrous, and will be overturned.   How much responsibility did they apportion to the suicidal idiot who smoked himself to death?

Coffin Nails:  The Tobacco Controversy in the 19th Century

Harper’s Weekly
was, in effect, the American “newspaper of record” from soon after its
start in 1857 until 1912.  As early as 1858, it criticized various
aspects of tobacco use, as shown by a
cartoon on secondhand smoke.

It’s not like people didn’t know that cigarettes were bad for you for a 100 years before this bozo kicked off.

Posted in Junk Law permalink

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


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