Jury Awards $37.5 Million To Family Of Florida Smoker

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Associated Press Release

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A jury has awarded $37.5 million in damages to the family of a South Florida smoker who died of lung cancer in 1995.

The award was for the Broward County family of Laura Grossman, who died at age 38. The verdict includes $22.5 million in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

The company will appeal. Its attorneys argued Grossman knew the dangers of smoking because cigarettes had warning labels when she started.

Grossman attorney Scott Schlesinger said teenagers like her were targeted by tobacco companies.

The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict. That ruling also said smokers and their families need only prove addiction and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths.

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