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Smoker Awarded $50M in Damages

February 11, 1999

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A jury awarded a former three-pack-a-day smoker $50 million in punitive damages Wednesday in her lawsuit against a tobacco company, bringing the total award to $51.5 million.

A day earlier, the jury ordered Philip Morris Cos. to pay Patricia Henley $1.5 million in compensatory damages to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering.

Henley, 53, who was diagnosed last year with inoperable lung cancer, alleged the tobacco company hooked her on cigarettes when she was 15 and misled her about the dangers. Her cancer is in remission after chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

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