Supreme Court Will Not Hear Appeal by Tobacco Maker in Case of Smoker’s Death
The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal by tobacco maker R.J. Reynolds, in a Florida case in which the company was ordered to pay $28.3 million to a woman whose husband smoked cigarettes for decades and died of lung cancer.
The company argued its constitutional due process rights were violated, according to Reuters. R.J. Reynolds also argued the issue could impact thousands of pending cases in Florida against tobacco companies, the article notes.
Benny Martin died of lung cancer in 1995. His widow, Mathilde, blamed his death on his long-time smoking of Reynolds’ Lucky Strikes cigarettes. In 2009, a Florida state trial court ordered Reynolds to pay her more than $3.3 million in compensatory damages, and $25 million in punitive damages.
The jury found that the company was 66 percent responsible for Martin’s death, while he was 34 percent responsible. Martin began smoking in the 1940s, before cigarette packs had health warnings.