Mo. Family Awarded $20M in Tobacco Suit
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) _ A jury has awarded the family of a woman who smoked for nearly 50 years more than $20 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against the maker of Kool cigarettes, the largest total judgment against a tobacco company in Missouri.
The Jackson County jury awarded the family of Barbara Smith the punitive damages Wednesday.
Brown & Williamson officials called the damages ``grossly excessive″ and asked the judge to set aside the judgment.
Smith smoked Kool cigarettes for nearly 50 years before quitting in 1990. She died 10 years later of a heart attack at age 73. She had heart and lung disease.
In October, a Los Angeles jury ruled that Philip Morris USA should pay $28 billion to a 45-year smoker with lung cancer. A judge later slashed the award to $28 million.
The previous record for a verdict won by an individual against a tobacco company was $3 billion, awarded in June 2001. A California judge later reduced that to $100 million.