In a case coming out of Massachusetts, a jury found that Lorillard Tobacco Co. attempted to entice black children to become smokers by handing out free cigarettes. The Huffington Post reported:
Willie Evans alleged Lorillard introduced his mother, Marie Evans, to smoking as a child in the late 1950s by giving her free Newport cigarettes at the Orchard Park housing project in Boston, where she lived. He said his mother smoked for more than 40 years before dying of lung cancer at age 54.
The jury found that Lorillard Tobacco Co. specifically targeted black children to get them hooked on cigarettes. The jury awarded a total of $71 million in compensatory damages to Marie Evans’ Estate and her son, Willie Evans. The jury also awarded $81 million in punitive damages.
I imagine the verdict, among other things, is going to get appealed. It unclear whether a higher court will find the award excessive and order a reduction.
Lorillard Tobacco Co. manufactures Kent, True, Old Gold, Maverick and Max cigarettes.
- Punitive damages given in Lorillard smoking case (reuters.com)
- Jury awards family $152 million in damages over smoking wrongful death (cnn.com)
- $81M in punitive damages for giving kids free cigs (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Woman’s Family Wins $152 Million Judgment Against Cigarette Company (theroot.com)