Massachusetts Jury Orders Tobacco Firm to Pay $71 Million to Family

December 15, 2010

  • December 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm
    P.K. says:
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    The court is stupid. Nobody forced a 14 year old to smoke and where were her parents to guide her? Oh, I forgot. This is a black issue so the parental factor is irrelevant. Secondly, there is no moral basis to pay indigent blacks $71,000,000. (tax free I might add; not that they pay taxes in the first place)If somebody was handing out free poison candy would they be held liable because some idiot ate it? This is precisely why there should be no respect or trust in our judicial system. It has no commmon sense.

  • December 15, 2010 at 1:18 am
    Hank says:
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    Your comments are really gonna spark a few people off! Should make for some good reading!

  • December 15, 2010 at 1:28 am
    Tisk tisk says:
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    P.K. Please. There is plenty here to criticize without bringing up race. There have been similar outcomes to the benefit of poor white folks in recent years. What should have been taken into account here: Was this woman required to prove free cigs were given to her at age 9? Might she have grabbed them from a nearby adult? Is there actual written evidence of a campaign directed at kids? This is a rediculous judgement considering all we know about cigaretts. You just seem ticked off that a poor black person won a lot of tax free money. That is not the point here at all. What is the point is that we have known cigaretts to be killers for years yet judges with pre-existing biases allow such rediculous awards to whomever choose to bring a suit like this.

  • December 15, 2010 at 1:30 am
    Maryland Agent says:
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    So did they give her 1 free pack? or free packs for 50 years? she did not develope lung cancer or become addicted from 1 pack, unless maybe they gave her some crack to go with them Newports. And Attorney’s wonder why nobody likes them!! Sometimes you have to take responsbility for your own actions, it is not always somebody elses fault.

  • December 15, 2010 at 1:31 am
    J.A. says:
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    I don’t agree with the verdict at all but P.K. your comments are racist and hateful. Post your garbage elsewhere.

  • December 15, 2010 at 1:34 am
    P.K. says:
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    Dear Tisk Tisk: don’t be a racist. The article mentioned the plaintiff was black hence my basis for citing it. Fact of the matter is, black or white, the “estates” of these people are attempting to belly up to the trough to make some quick, un-deserved money because they were incapable of making it honestly in life. Plaintiff lawyers are mining databases and signing up people with a promise of winning the lottery. As for my other comments, they’re rooted in fact. As you can tell, I don’t buy into this “political correctness” crap. It is what it is.

    The country is going down the _hitter because nobody is ever responsible for their own bad decisions. To make matters worse, the courts and some juries are stupid and out of touch with reality in making such outrageous and un-conscionable awards.

  • December 15, 2010 at 1:38 am
    Tisk tisk says:
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    So, why didn’t you say it that way in the first-place? I’d believe your comment have nothing to do with race if I did not read your other comments today on IJ.

  • December 15, 2010 at 1:53 am
    Who is Responsible Here says:
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    I find it interesting that several of the posts complain about the plantiffs not accepting responsibility for their own actions but no one here seems to feel that the cigarette companies should accept responsibility for their own actions.

    These companies have made business decisions for decades to advertise to children and do whatever else it takes to get children to start smoking and they have been very successful in these efforts. Think about it; of all the people who smoke, how many started at age 18 or later.

    Being asked to accept responsibility for these actions seems absolutely fair and reasonable.

  • December 15, 2010 at 1:58 am
    nobody important says:
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    Fine, but the amount is not fair and reasonable. Just another verdict to enrich the trial lawyers and give the family a lottery win.

  • December 15, 2010 at 2:05 am
    Bob says:
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    I agree that this country is going down the tubes because of unwillingness to accept reponsibility. The tobacco companies “enticed” me when I was young and the military did too by making cigarettes available to me for 16 cents a pack. I quit smoking about 25 years ago when I was in my forties and if I should develop a tobacco related cancer, I’ll blame myself, not someone else. No one made me smoke for 30 years…that was my choice.

  • December 15, 2010 at 2:09 am
    Who is Responsible Here says:
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    Unfortunately, unless this type of verdict occurs over and over again, there will be no financial incentive for the cigarette companies to start acting responsibly.

    They make billions of dollars using their tactics. One $71 million verdict is nothing. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish and hopefully, change behavior. This is the only way to get them to even think about acting responsibly. But I certainly wouldn’t bet on it working.

  • December 15, 2010 at 2:12 am
    TAR says:
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    This verdict and others like it this past year are retarded. Why don’t we just demand you outlaw cigarettes. It’s apparent people can no longer think for themselves; smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee or feeding your kids. Government and society have been demonizing smokers as these evil people that need to go into some remote area and smoke, not your house or outdoor park or a beach. Just outlaw the stuff.
    Oh wait, then how will the government continue to fund their pet projects like SCHIP program for kids? What will the individual states do when the $2 per pack tax stops coming in to help fund and balance state budgets? in addition to the per pack tax the feds take in? These juries want to “Punish” the cigarette companies, wait till they all pull out of the U.S. and turn the spigot of money off. What will the Federal and State Governments do next?

  • December 15, 2010 at 2:18 am
    VLS says:
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    They’ll go after alcohol

  • December 15, 2010 at 2:22 am
    Who is Responsible Here says:
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    Using your logic, we should legalize all drugs, tax the hell out of them and then start advertising direct to children when they’re too young to know any better. Then, anyone dumb enough to use the stuff is just out of luck.

    Should get us a budget surplus in no time.

  • December 15, 2010 at 2:38 am
    TAR says:
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    Great idea – Who Is Responsible. It could solve some federal budget woes and help bail out California & New York. We could the continue to fund the SCHIP Program along with the new SCHIT Program. And with the new Obamascare going into effect I’m sure there will be unlimited rehabilitation, plus mental and nervous disorder coverage! It would insure America can put out a great number of under achievers and more Americans indentured under the welfare system

  • December 15, 2010 at 3:18 am
    Exadjuster says:
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    …the verdicts are awarded by the JURIES!

    All the intelligent “hip” people I run into brag about the different scemes they employ to avoid jury duty. As a result, we get retired postal workers and marginal homeless people who like “sticking it to the man.”

    Of course smart plaintiff attorneys make sure no one with half a brain sits on the jury.

    So, the next time you get a notice, show up and do your duty.

  • December 15, 2010 at 3:19 am
    Scooter says:
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    I can just imagine how “good” the jury felt when ” we stck it to the darn insurance company”
    Well those jurors made a BAD decision.
    The Company AND the industry HAVE to maintain themselves profitably, or else you know what happens.
    Think too big to fail..remember that ?
    Without a profit and it is NOT a 4 letter word, insurance would become unaffordable.
    So then; who does that help.
    Perhaps jurors; sitting on such a case should be mandated to attend a short seminar on how insurance & remuneration works.
    As an example, I hope the defendants’ attorney told the jury, that even Trump wouldn’t have been able to afford a $71mil Life insurance policy

  • December 15, 2010 at 3:47 am
    You're looking at this wrong says:
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    It’s going to be on appeal for a number of years yet and there is a great economic incentive here. Within a few years ALL of the money will be gone & they will be looking somewhere else for a handout.

  • December 15, 2010 at 5:11 am
    Boonedoggle says:
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    This is an educational experience and Lorillard simply got billed for $71 million tuition.

    Tobacco companies have consistantly been slow learners and the CEO of Lorillard testifed under oath before the Waxman Commission that cigarettes were not addictive.

    Throw a few more $71 verdicts against Lorrilard’s Income Statement and sooner or later it will get their Board of Directors attention.

    As Big Tobacco Inc. climbs up the learning curve on product addiction/safety issues they might take a more appropriate measures to mitigate the risks of their product lines.

  • December 16, 2010 at 10:20 am
    nobody important says:
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    Now it’s banning Happy Meal toys. The anti child toy people probably would like to ban all toys. We certainly need to be told how and when to do everything or nothing.

  • December 16, 2010 at 11:31 am
    Vivian says:
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    Absolutely absurd. No wonder our society is in trouble noone takes responsibility for themselves. Do they realize we are paying for these claims, through our own auto & health insurance costs.

  • December 16, 2010 at 1:25 am
    Who is Responsible Here says:
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    And yet Vivian, you seem totally comfortable with the notion that the cigarette companies should bear NO RESPONSIBILITY for the sickness and death caused by their product.

    Apparently in your world, and in the world of most of the posters on this article, the user/victim is the only one who should accept responsibility for their actions.

    Those responsible for enticing children to start using a product that kills countless people should be rewarded with billions of dollars in income.

    Interesting way to look at the world.

  • December 16, 2010 at 1:46 am
    smoker jane says:
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    The FDA should pull the product from the market instead of bowing to big business pressure.

  • December 16, 2010 at 3:45 am
    Responsibility all around? says:
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    It appears that Who is Responsible Here thinks that a $71MM verdict is reasonable for someone that would not stop smoking in spite of all of the noteriety? The pusher is as bad as the user.



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