RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of Reynolds American, Inc. (RAI), was handed down a $23.6 billion punitive fine on Friday by a jury in Florida. The verdict came after a four-week trial regarding a lung cancer lawsuit brought forward by a Ms. Cynthia Robinson.
Robinson is the widow of Michael Johnson, a chain-smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996 at the age of 36. Cynthia sued RJ Reynolds in 2008, alleging that the company conspired to conceal the risks that its products pose.
By Achilles Research:Are tough times ahead for the tobacco industry given that Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) just received a blow to its face with $23 billion of punitive damages levied upon the company by a Florida jury?
A jury Wednesday ordered Philip Morris to pay the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer $6.3 million in damages in a case that could blaze a legal trail for about 8,000 similar Florida lawsuits.