R.J. Reynolds was hit with a $3.75 million verdict this week for the part jurors found the company played in a Florida woman’s fatal respiratory disease. Durrance-Jones v. R.J. Reynolds, 2008-CA-009036.
The award includes $500,000 in compensatory damages awarded to Dorothy Durrance’s 2 children and $3,250,000 in punitives imposed against Reynolds.
Durrance, who was born in 1916, began smoking in the early 1930s and continued for about 50 years. She died in 2000, eight years after she was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Her children contend Reynolds is responsible for their mother’s respiratory disease by marketing cigarettes the company knew to be dangerous and addictive.