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Date: 06-03-2009

Case Style: Estate of Benny Martin v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Case Number: 2007-CA-2520

Judge: Terry Terrell

Court: Circuit Court, Escambia County, Florida

Plaintiff's Attorney: Matt Schultz, Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell
Echsner & Proctor, PA, Pensacola, Florida

Defendant's Attorney: Mark Belasic, Amanda Jacobs, Jones Day, Cleveland, Ohio and Larry Hill, Moore, Hill, Westmoreland, Pensacola, Florida

Description: Estate of Benny Martin sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company on theories of fraud, negligence, and products liability claiming that Defendant conspired with other cigarette manufacturers to conceal or omit the health hazards or addictiveness of cigarettes and that Defendant knowingly and intentionally sold tobacco products consumed by Benny Martin that were defective and unreasonably dangerous. Mr. Martin died in 1995. Mr. Mart began smoking more than 20 years before cigarettes had warning labels.

The defenses asserted by R.J. Reynolds are not available.

Outcome: Plaintiff's verdict for $5 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitivie damages for a total of $30 million.

Plaintiff's Experts: Louis Kyriakoudes, PhD. (history); Robert N. Proctor, Ph.D. (history); Neil Benowitz, M.D. (addiction); Michael Cummings, Ph.D. (conspiracy and addiction); David M. Burns, M.D. (addiction and disease causation); John Bray, M.D. (treating physician).

Defendant's Experts: Christopher Cook, RJR (product design); James Figlar, RJR (product design); George Seiden, M.D. (addiction); Sanford Barsky, M.D. (disease causation); Robert J. Norrell (history)

Comments: Editor's Note: R.J. Reynolds will appeal this case until it is reversed or there are no other avenues available to avoid the judgment. This case is a long way from being over.



 
 
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