Fla. Jury Awards Smoker $21M From Philip Morris

Law360 (July 9, 2010, 11:48 AM EDT) -- A Florida jury has found Philip Morris USA partially responsible for a 64-year-old woman's chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and ordered the cigarette company to pay more than $21 million in damages.

In a verdict issued Thursday, a six-member jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., awarded plaintiff Ellen Tate $8 million in compensatory damages and more than $16 million in punitive damages, placing most of the blame on Philip Morris.

The jury found Tate, who began smoking at age 12 or 13, 36 percent responsible, and Philip Morris 64 percent responsible, which means Philip Morris would be liable for about $5.1 million in...

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