(PCM) A Florida court jury has awarded Cynthia Robinson, the widow of Michael Johnson, Sr, $23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit she filed against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company back in 2008.
Robinson claimed that smoking killed her husband, who was 36 years old at the time of his death. He began smoking when he was only 13-years old and died of lung cancer. Robinson feels that the tobacco company is to blame.
The court trial lasted about four weeks and jurors deliberated for nearly 15 hours before reaching a verdict in the case. The jury found that the tobacco company was negligent in informing Michael Johnson of the dangers of smoking such as causing lung cancer and also the fact that nicotine is highly addictive.
On top of the $23.6 billion, the court also awarded Robinson with nearly $16 million in compensatory damages.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is planning to appeal the ruling but there has been no word on when a new trial will take place.
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