Missouri Appeals Court Orders New Trial on Tobacco Case

 

A Missouri appeals court threw out a $1.5 million punitive judgment Tuesday against Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. and ordered a new trial to reconsider the issue.

The new trial would be the third in a nine-year legal battle waged by the survivors of Barbara Smith, who died of a heart attack in 2000. Though she had smoked Kool cigarettes for about 46 years, Smith gave them up in 1990. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1992, but after surgery apparently was found to be cancer free, according to the ruling from the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals.

In 2005, an Independence jury awarded Smith’s family $2 million in compensatory damages, which later was reduced to $500,000 because she was determined to be 75 percent at fault. Jurors also awarded Smith’s children $20 million in punitive damages. Read more on Kansas City Star.

 


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