Tobacco Companies, Cigarettes & Product Liability

By December 8, 2017Product Liability

The war against Big Tobacco has been going on for decades. Cigarette companies have been marketing to teens for years to get them addicted to tobacco at a young age. It worked for some teens, and many have died from their cigarette addiction. Now, companies such as Philip Morris USA Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. are being sued by these victims’ family members for their marketing ploys that led to their loved ones’ wrongful deaths.

Nicotine is a dangerous, addictive substance that has killed millions of people over the years through diseases such as emphysema and cancer. For decades, tobacco companies have specifically marketed to teens, who did not know the dangers of smoking. These dangers were hidden from consumers so they would get addicted and continue smoking for years.

Now, many families are suing tobacco companies for getting their loved ones hooked on smoking at such a young age. Many started smoking as young as 13 years old and continued their habit for 50 years or longer before succumbing to a smoking-related illness. Tobacco companies have been sued and forced to pay out tens of millions of dollars in some cases.

Recent Cases

A Florida man sued tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA Inc, and Lorillard Tobacco Co. on behalf of his wife, who died of lung cancer caused by smoking. The man claimed that his wife began smoking in 1940, when she was around 13 years old. She would smoke a pack a day until quitting 50 years later, in 1990. She was 70 years old when she died in 1997. Her cause of death was carcinoma, but she also had heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and peripheral vascular disease.

A jury found the tobacco companies liable for death and the man was awarded $10.5 million in July 2015. Of that amount, $9 million was in punitive damages.

Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds faced another lawsuit when they were sued by the family of a man who died of lung cancer caused by smoking. The man started smoking at age 15 and continued his 1-2 pack a day habit for 35 years. The family blamed the tobacco companies for getting the man addicted to cigarettes and causing the cancer that killed him. The man repeatedly tried to quit smoking, but failed due to his addiction.

In October 2017, a Florida jury awarded the man’s family $36 million in damages. Of that amount, $12 million was considered compensatory damages and $24 million was for punitive damages.  The man’s widow received $6 million and two of the man’s children each received $3 million.

Do You Have a Product Liability Case? Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys for Help

Dangerous products exist everywhere. Cigarettes are no exception. They continue to be marketed to young children, who can die from these products.
Whether you were injured by a defective car or another dangerous product, the product liability lawyers at DJC Law can help. If you were injured by a manufacturer’s reckless behavior or negligence, contact us today at (512) 969-6357 to schedule your free consultation.