Rita Mahfuz never had a chance to fend off her nearly two pack a day cigarette addiction, a Broward County jury ruled in rewarding her estate $37 million in damages in a suit that found both R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris liable.
“There’s not one piece of evidence from either side that Rita’s addiction was her choice,” said attorney Steven Hammer. “Because nobody chooses
Rita Mahfuz’s days of chronic smoking started when she was an adolescent and continued for more than three decades. She died of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at 53 in 1999, seven years after doctors diagnosed her with lung cancer and had been forced to remove her right lung.