August 3, 2013 9:31 am -

This one almost slipped under the radar. If it is not overturned on appeal, it’s big trouble for Big Tobacco:

A South Florida jury this week found the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company partially responsible for the death of smoker Laura Grossman, who in 1995 died of lung cancer at the age of 38. The jury awarded $37.5 million to Grossman’s family, which included $22.5 million in punitive damages against the tobacco company to deter R.J. Reynolds from trying to lure teenagers in the future, according to Marketwired.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has appealed the verdict, claiming that Grossman’s husband, Jan Grossman, should be held responsible for Laura’s death for “failing to change another person’s course of conduct.” As part of the court ruling, Grossman’s husband and two children were also awarded $15 million in compensatory damages.

R.J. Reynolds did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

During the 20-day trial in Broward County, Fla., attorneys of the family stated that Laura was too young to understand the risks of smoking when she started, and that R.J Reynolds specifically targets innocent teens with their products and marketing.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.