Sunday, August 30, 2015
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Thursday, 2/12/2009

Jury finds against tobacco company in smoker death


FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida A Florida jury has found that a longtime cigarette smoker's death was caused by addiction to nicotine, a potentially costly legal loss for tobacco giant Philip Morris.

The decision Thursday by the six-person jury means Philip Morris may have to pay millions of dollars in damages to Elaine Hess, widow of Stuart Hess. That phase of the case begins Friday.

The Hess lawsuit is the first of 8,000 such cases to reach trial since the Florida Supreme Court in 2006 threw out a $145 billion class-action jury award. Each smoker's case must be decided individually.

Hess's lawyers said he was hopelessly addicted to nicotine. The lawyer for Philip Morris said Hess chose not to quit despite known health risks.

Recommended for You

Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.