Court OKs $35M Award For Fla. Smoker’s Widow

MIAMI (AP) — An appeals court has upheld a jury’s verdict awarding $35 million in damages to the widow of a longtime smoker who died in 1996 of lung cancer.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal affirmed $25 million in punitive damages and $10 million in compensatory damages against Lorillard Tobacco Co. for Dorothy Alexander. Lorillard unsuccessfully argued the damages were excessive and raised a number of other claims.

Alexander sued on behalf of her late husband, 59-year-old Coleman Alexander. The couple had been married almost 38 years.

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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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