Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jury awards $30 million to Pensacola widow in smoking suit

PENSACOLA — A Florida jury awarded $30 million to a Pensacola widow in a ruling against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.

Lawyers for Benny Martin, who died of lung cancer in 1995, said the tobacco company conspired to make its products more addictive to customers and withheld information about the dangers of smoking.

They said Martin started smoking 20 years before cigarettes had warning labels. The case is one of the first to be tried after the 2006 Florida Supreme Court ruling that threw out a massive class-action award to thousands of smokers and required the cases be proved individually.

An e-mail sent to R.J. Reynolds was not immediately returned.

Attorney Matt Schultz said he hopes the judgment will "deter these kinds of corporate activities in the future."

Jury awards $30 million to Pensacola widow in smoking suit 06/01/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 1, 2009 7:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. United Airlines CEO to investors: We'll be more focused on customers


    CHICAGO — The CEO of United Airlines assured shareholders Wednesday that the company is doing all it can to be more customer-friendly since video surfaced of a passenger being violently ejected from a plane last month.

    Chicago Police arrest protesters after they sat down in a busy street blocking traffic outside a United Airlines shareholders meeting Wednesday, in downtown Chicago. The people who were arrested were protesting the low pay of employees of companies that provide meals and other services for United Airlines at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.
[Associated Press]
  2. 6 essential things you'll need before going to a theme park this summer


    With Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, we're back with a new a guide to what's new or noteworthy in Central Florida attractions.

  3. BREAKING NEWS: High winds force Sunshine Skyway to close as storms move in to Tampa Bay

    Public Safety

    The Sunshine Skyway bridge has been closed because of the weather conditions, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has announced.

    The Sunshine Skyway was closed Wednesday afternoon because of high winds. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times

  4. 'Biggest winner' of session, Richard Corcoran, paid $20k to the guy who named him biggest winner


    In the final days of the 2017 legislative session, as Tallahassee obsessed over whether a budget deal might happen or implode like Frank Artiles' political career, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran decided he could use some friendly P.R. Corcoran's political committee, Florida Roundtable, paid $20,000 to Extensive …

  5. Clearwater officer fired after investigation reveals use of unnecessary force on teen

    Public Safety

    A Clearwater police officer was fired after an internal investigation found he used unnecessary force on a teenager in custody, the agency said Wednesday.