Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BREAKING: RJ Reynolds Hit With $29M Verdict In Smoking Death Trial - Law360

Doesn't happen often enough.  - gwc

BREAKING: RJ Reynolds Hit With $29M Verdict In Smoking Death Trial - Law360

Law360, Los Angeles (October 25, 2016, 4:18 PM EDT) -- A Florida jury slammed R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. with $20 million in punitive damages Tuesday in a trial over the lung disease death of a sailor's chain-smoking wife, adding to an $8.8 million compensatory verdict awarded a day earlier and amounting to far more than the plaintiff requested.

Jurors awarded plaintiff, widower Alan Konzelman, about $10 million more than he had asked for. They gave him $8.8 million in compensatory damages for his own pain in suffering for losing his wife, Elaine Konzelman, when he had asked for $5 million plus nearly $300,000 to cover his late wife's medical expenses. During the punitive damages phase, he asked for $14 million but received $20 million.

During emotional closing arguments last week, Alan Konzelman's attorney Eric Rosen of Kelley/Uustal told jurors that sailor Alan Konzelman lost Elaine Konzelman, his wife of 29 years, to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Rosen said that Alan loved her deeply, spent every spare moment with her and took her on adventures.

"They had an amazing and adventurous life that some people don't get to experience," he said. "They sailed, they got married, they had fun together and they grew old together. And they had a right to grow older together."

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