On Wednesday, July 15, a $7.25 million verdict upheld by a three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal from South Florida against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR). This panel is about a case filed by a man who smoked two packs of cigarettes every day since age 17 and then had coronary artery disease.
According to the press release, the appellate court rejected RJR’s arguments because the plaintiff (Rouse) lacked sufficient evidence to prove his allegation that the tobacco company fraudulently concealed the dangers of smoking.
Actually, before the appeal, a Miami-Dade County jury awarded $5 million in compensatory damages and $2.25 million in punitive damages to Rouse.
Besides, according to the ruling on Wednesday, Rouse started to smoke heavily as a teen and exposed to tobacco-industry advertising. He said he used to smoked Winston filtered cigarettes because its advertisements seem safer.
According to the statement, the panel said:
“In sum, not only did [the plaintiff] Rouse present evidence that he was exposed throughout his life to the tobacco companies’ broad-based, misleading advertising campaign, he also testified that his decision to smoke Winston filtered cigarettes was influenced by the way the tobacco companies promoted filtered cigarettes in their advertisements.”
“From this evidence, a reasonable jury could have inferred that Rouse might have never started smoking Winston filtered cigarettes or would have quit earlier had he known true facts about filtered cigarettes.”
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