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$21 Million Awarded to Fla. Smoker with COPD

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Philip Morris USA was ordered by a Florida jury to pay $28 million in damages to a smoker with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Law360 reported July 9.

The cigarette company was deemed to be 64-percent responsible for plaintiff Ellen Tate's illness; Tate herself was held 36-percent responsible by the jury, which awarded the women $8 million in compensatory damages and $16 million in punitive damages.

Tate began smoking at age 12 or 13.

Plaintiffs have won 18 of the 21 cases filed against tobacco companies in Florida since February 2009. Thousands of other such cases are pending.

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