Skip to comments.Fla. jury slams RJ Reynolds with $23.6B in damages (no, that was not a typo)
Posted on 07/19/2014 2:06:55 PM PDT by markomalley
A Florida jury has slammed the 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 Big Tobacco knowingly sold dangerous products and hid the hazards of cigarette smoking.
The damages a Pensacola jury awarded Friday to Cynthia Robinson after a four-week trial come in addition to $16.8 million in compensatory damages.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Does the company even have any where close to that amount??
Frito: “How many billions?”
Joe: “Like, 10.”
Frito: “Yeah, suck one. Time machine costs, like, 20.”
Joe: “Yeah? Okay. Uh, 30, Frito. Thirty billion dollars.”
Frito: “Thirty billion. So if you gave me 30 billion and the time machine’s 20— What’s the minus of 30 and 20?”
Joe: “Uh, it’s, uh, it’s 80, Frito. It’s eighty billion dollars. That’s a mighty big minus, isn’t it?”
Frito: “Yeah. I like money though.”
Ridiculous and pure political BS! This is a shakedown of an industry because the government wants it to happen. Addiction is far too broad a standard because of all the areas it can cover. Will all diabetics sue candy manufacturers? Just another example of ignoring personal responsibility and because a few do so, the government has to step in and save the rest of us through regulation. WWII was won on the backs of nicotine and caffeine so what’s in store for the future? Energy drinks?
Her husband died due to his own bad decisions.
“WWII was won on the backs of nicotine and caffeine”
Pay $1 a year.
Diabertes is caused by carbs. Not only sugar but also potatos and rice. Bad choices are not grounds for liability.
Even I don’t agree with this. Still it’s funny.
If you’re product is politically unpopular other peoples choices apparently are grounds.
“Her husband died due to his own bad decisions.
I agree-—and I smoke.
It’s just another deep pockets lawsuit.
Certain to be reduced by a significant amount upon appeal. I wish they’d give out $1 judgments just so the lawyers can’t get sickeningly rich off these cases.
No sympathy from me for either the dead guy or his family.Absolutely none!
The side that used meth — Hitler and the Germans — lost.
How many of the state’s top Democrat donors are lawyers on this case?
In Texas, I recall John O’Quinn and other insider Dems (private practice working a public case for state) splitting a billion dollars paid out from the “out of court settlement” when several states had a class action lawsuit against Big Tobacco.
I recall in the 1940s cigarettes were called cancer sticks and coffin nails. We all knew then, it was known for generations before.
And right, sugar and fat, are likely on the way to being milked for billions -- then paper and those painful and sometimes "life-threatening" paper cuts, shoe laces coming untied . . . .
Slip-and-fall lawyers and government employees will destroy the earth!
“...the jury seemed most persuaded by 1994 C-Span footage of tobacco industry executives claiming smoking did not cause cancer and was not addictive, and by 60-year-old internal documents showing the company knew otherwise.”
Yet many a Freeper will deny nicotine is addictive.
This is-and always was-BS. Whatever substance you, as an adult drink, eat, smoke, inhale, rub on your skin, or however else you ingest/absorb it is a personal choice with personal responsibility attached-not a cash cow for trial lawyers and intrusive government. Does someone want to tell me again how it is GOOD for us if nanny government unselfishly “protects” us from ourselves? What party do the trial lawyers donate to/support?
My husband died from lung cancer too. I’ll take some. LOL!
Adult personal choices + adult personal responsibility = government employees out of personal lives, jobs-and wallets-and trial lawyers having to actually work for a living...
Now THAT is what I call a free country...
Just a greedy lawyer trying for an out of court settlement and a nice percentage deal.
Those tobacco lawsuits were settled years ago with the lawyers receiving their multi-million dollar cut in the profits. Evidently this law group missed their calling back then and jumped in just in time to cash in.........
For what it's worth, the state of Michigan's lawyers reaped approx 72 million dollars, which equated to over $3,000 per hour in research already provided by out of state settled lawsuits.........
Can’t say. I believe “part” of the judgement was ‘cause the tobacco firms lied. They claimed it wasn’t addictive but they knew full well it is addictive. (Despite what some FReepers claim)
The deliberate concealment of the truth may be the reason that personal responsibility was overlooked.
People have known for ages that cigarettes are harmful to health and her husband continued to smoke. I guess that's why there's a warning label on microwavable food that says "Caution - food will be hot"
The OJ jury were described as anomalous at the time when in reality they were just a pilot project.
Coors and Seagrams, you're next.
I’m endlessly amazed that so many do not realize that “all things in moderation” is not just a line in some song...
I don’t know of anyone who believes ad claims for anything-truth in advertising is an oxymoron and always has been. We make fun of people in the far past who got scammed into buying everything from bogus saints’ fingers and toes to snake oil, but we give the recently ignorant a pass, when it is no excuse for overlooking personal responsibility, or common sense, and information is everywhere.
Doesn’t seem like it will pass the smell test for “excessive” judgements.
I am thoroughly confused here...
I thought the original $200 billion penalty imposed on the tobacco companies (and paid for by tobacco users, exclusively) was a conclusive "settlement." In addition, this huge amount was justified and argued on the basis that it would relieve the public at large from bearing the burden of the addicted to tobacco-relted health expenses.
Unfortunately, 80% OF THAT ENORMOUS SUM WAS USED, ABUSED AND WASTED ON PORK AND OTHER EXPENSES TOTALLY UNRELATED TO THE TOBACCO ISSUE.
What did I miss?
Does anyone have links to documentation or other references as to how this case and decision (which I hope will be overturned or radically reduced) came about? Another class action suit?
An individual award?
Who is the plaintiff?
Which bloodsucking firm represents them?
I’m not taking issue with what you said-I’m pointing out that it isn’t a good idea to overlook personal responsibility because the truth was concealed, especially in advertising of anything-that is a slippery slope paved with money-some of which belongs to us.
One poster opined-rightly, I think-that alcohol is next-look at those ads-they all say how great, how much fun, how their beer/liquor will make you famous, attractive...
Already, drug companies are being seasoned for the trial lawyers’ grill. Maybe next it will be Viagra/Cialis-talk about adult responsibility...
Or maybe energy drinks, sodas, cupcakes, coffee-paint, ladders, power tools, exercise machines, creams and patches for muscle pain-there’s no stopping the avalanche once the dynamite charges have been set off...
Our society runs exclusively and thoroughly on ignorance.
Most people are not aware that "carbs" is the name applied to the family of compounds that includes all of the other substances listed... the main one being sugar.
You need to read a LOT more about military history 1920-1960, before "meth" was a dirty word due to its current popularity.
Every branch of our military was issued meth routinely under the most harrowing of military campaigns. Even during the cold war.
Germany has a heavy enough load to carry even without made up historical "facts."
"The Engle plaintiffs in Florida mostly claim they began smoking before the government required stronger warnings on every pack of cigarettes in 1969. (The first warnings that cigarettes may be hazardous to your health, went on in 1964; five years later Congress ordered the wording changed to cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health.)"
They are claiming people became addicted before they knew it was dangerous, but that cigarette companies knew already.
Our current POTUS is a smoker. Perhaps he will sue for billions claiming he became addicted.
Democrats cause a lot of harm and deaths..... just saying.
Even as a small child in the late 40s I was aware that smoking was unhealthy.
I know of no human being, with an IQ over 50 ever claiming what you assert.
The only possible exception, is the fact that individual familial genes plays a huge role in who becomes a medical victim, and who doesn't. An area which, to this day, is neglected and ignored.
For example, last time I researched it, in the late 90s, 100% of the documented oldest living persons ---- 100% of those who lived longer than 100 years, smoked 'all their lives'; and most of them didn't 'quit' until after age 95...
So the video of the CEOs under oath is perjury?
I can’t believe that people were that dumb, no matter what they claim-I’m pretty sure my parents didn’t need any government info to know that tobacco and alcohol could be addictive and unhealthy-they told me about it and everybody I knew was aware, too. Hell, the Native Americans knew it, and I’m sure the settlers learned it pretty quick.
I’d be downright ashamed to say-but your honor, I had no way of knowing-———was addictive-the government didn’t tell me so-gimme some of that money...
Baskin Robbins owes me at least 10 bill
Again...there are multiple FReepers who claim cigarettes are NOT addictive. Sorry, I don’t support what they claim so I can’t defend them.
Each one of these so called jurors should be forced to chip in ONE BILLION dollars each OF THEIR OWN MONEY to that absurd 23.6 billion. This is why I’ve always said the insane and mentally challenged should not be allowed to be jurors. The “judicial” system in this country is a joke.
Anytime there are warnings and they say what can happen if you use the product, a lawsuit should never get to court.
NOT KNOWING THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE! Isn’t that what we’re told?
This is no different. You know what can happen if you smoke...PERIOD.
There may be some that can hold down the smoking. That is possible.
It took a whole week in the hospital after chest pains sent me there, to come out smoke free. I could never have done it otherwise.
People don’t come in one size fits all body.
For a long while I thought the tobacco companies should get together and go on strike. Imagine the panic when billions of tax dollars just stop rolling in.
“That ruling also said smokers and their families need only prove addiction and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths.”
I can’t imagine any doctor testifying with medical certainty that smoking caused any illness.
Can you explain further? Are you saying that cigarettes aren't unhealthy or just that it can't be proven to a "medical certainty"?
Do YOU believe cigarettes are unhealthy??
This ruling has absolutely no legitimacy, and I hope the lawyer’s great grandchildren die of old age long before it is paid. The damage that even a third of this $23.6 billion could do in the hands of trial lawyers is staggering. Actually a lot of what FedGov and the courts do these days has no legitimacy. I miss the rule of law.