Lawyer Disappointed in Tobacco Punitives

A $250,000 punitive damages award was something of a victory for two tobacco companies in the retrial of a suit filed by a smoker who later died.

Madelyn Chaber, who represented the smoker’s family, was disappointed in the amount, according to the Recorder.

“It needed at least another comma and a few more zeroes,” she said. With compensatory damages, she had obtained a verdict of about $2.8 million in the new trial. R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris were both ordered to pay compensatory damages, but only R.J. Reynolds is liable for punitives.

An appeals court had overturned the original verdict for $21.7 million.

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