Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tobacco Industry Attacks $590 Million Jury Verdict

Plaintiff attorneys Russ Herman and Stephen Murray say their case against the tobacco industry did not hinge upon the products liability law but instead focused upon a jury's findings that the industry committed fraud and conspiracy. Attorney Phillip Wittmann for R.J. Reynolds told a panel from the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeal that the jury's verdict came after numerous errors during the trial. Wittmann said the jury found that the industry committed fraud against smokers but that is no reason to hold the industry responsible under the state's products liability law. The jury ordered the tobacco industry to pay $590.9 million for a variety of smoking cessation programs. If the companies lose the appeal, then the verdict could be $1 billion after interest is applied. Associated Press, The Advocate 04/13/2006 Read Article: The Advocate

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