Smoker's Widow Gets $27 Million From Florida Jury

Gordon Gecko smoking a cigar

A circuit court jury in Florida awarded the widow of Nathan Cohen, a smoker who was unable to shake his nicotine addiction before his 1994 death of cancer, $26.6 million and found R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris liable for his death.

Daily Business Review: The jury decided the cigarette makers should pay his widow $10 million each in punitive damages and awarded Cohen’s widow, Robin Cohen of Plantation, Fla., $6.6 million in compensatory damages. A $10 million jury award was reduced by a finding that her husband was one-third responsible for his illness.

Since Florida’s highest court tossed out a $145 billion class-action suit in 2006, it’s been no-holds-barred influx of individual suits filed.The total has climbed to approximately 800.

Paige Trop & Ameen partner Adam Trop, one of Cohen’s lawyers, told the Daily Business Review he has another 50 lawsuits pending for individual smokers.

The litigation gauntlet has been thrown down.

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