Fla. Court Upholds $30M Tobacco Award Despite Misgivings

Law360, Miami (November 21, 2013, 6:35 PM EST) -- A Florida appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a $30 million award against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. for a smoker's widow, saying it was bound by precedent to do so despite what two judges said was an excessive award.

In a per curiam decision, Florida's First District Court of Appeal affirmed a $10 million compensatory damages award and $20 million punitive damages award for Vernell Smith, whose husband, Emmon Smith, died last year at age 80 after a 20-year battle with lung cancer.

In two concurring opinions,...
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