NY jury awards $17.1 million in sick smoker case

A New York jury on Monday ordered Philip Morris to pay $17.1 million in punitive damages to a woman who accused the company of failing to warn her about the dangers of smoking, the woman’s attorney said on Monday.

The award came one week after the same jury ordered Philip Morris and American Tobacco - now a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. - to pay $3.42 million to Norma Rose in compensatory damages, said her lawyer Stuart Finz.

“We just got a verdict this evening for punitive damages in the amount of $17.1 million,” Finz said.

Representatives for the tobacco companies could not be reached for comment.

Rose, 72, sued Altria Group’s Philip Morris and American Tobacco in 1996, charging that Smoking caused her lung cancer and that the companies failed to warn her of the dangers of cigarettes.

Rose, who started smoking before warning labels went on cigarettes in the 1960s, also accused the tobacco companies of manufacturing a defective product.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 8, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD