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Husband of Smoker Awarded $2.5 Million

Posted May 3, 2007 7:31 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A San Francisco jury in a retrial of a smoking suit has awarded about $2.5 million in compensatory damages to the husband of a smoker who died at age 40.

Jurors found liability against both R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris, but its answers to a jury verdict form indicated that only R.J. Reynolds will face punitive damages, the Recorder reports.

The suit had claimed the companies misled smoker Leslie Whiteley about the dangers of smoking. A California appeals court had overturned the first $21.7 million verdict, saying the legislature had limited liability. Punitive damages had comprised $20 million of that award.

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