Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli and Pratt P.A.

Florida jury awards settlement in wrongful death lawsuit

Nowadays, cigarette manufacturers are legally required to put health risks associated with smoking on cigarette packages. Many of these warnings tell consumers that smoking may be hazardous to their health and can cause certain injuries, especially in pregnant women. But these types of warnings were not always on cigarette packages.

Just recently, a woman was awarded a large settlement after filing a lawsuit against two tobacco companies for her husband's wrongful death. The lawsuit was filed in Florida where the woman's husband ultimately died.

The lawsuit named RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris as defendants, claiming that the two companies failed to inform consumers of the known dangers of tobacco products. The woman's husband was a longtime smoker and started smoking before companies were required to print warning labels. He developed lung cancer which eventually took his life in the early 1990s.

As we saw in a previous post, there had been a Florida class-action lawsuit against the tobacco companies on behalf of Florida smokers. This woman's lawsuit broke off from the class-action lawsuit. She was awarded a multi-million dollar settlement including compensation for the loss of her husband.

The financial compensation that the woman has been rewarded will no doubt help her and her family with costs associated to the man's lung cancer, such as medical and treatment bills. While the money will alleviate the financial burden, she will always be dealing with the loss of her husband.

Though the lawsuit shows that the man was addicted to nicotine and died from a smoking-related disease, both of the tobacco companies are planning to appeal the jury's verdict.

Source: The Gainesville Sun online, "Jury awards $3M to widow in tobacco suit," Cindy Swirko, 24 February 2011

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