In Alachua County, located in the middle of the Sunshine State, a jury heard evidence from Big Tobacco in defense of deceased smoker. They rendered verdicts totaling $16 million against Big Tobacco.
The jury did not believe Big Tobacco.
The spin, the deceit, or the rewriting history apparently did not help Big Tobacco.
Amanda Jean Hall sued Big Tobacco because cigarettes hopelessly addicted her husband, Arthur, and cigarette smoking led to cancer in as many as five areas of his body. Cigarettes killed Arthur Hall.
Dennis Murphy, one of Big Tobacco’s lawyers, told the jury: “The case is not about whether smoking can be addictive,” he said. “It can be. But not everyone who smokes becomes addicted.”
What Mr.Murphy left out is the history of Big Tobacco telling Americans that smoking was NOT addictive. When they now need to be honest, they “spin” the truth.
Mr. Murphy told jurors that “the conduct of RJ Reynolds had no effect on Mr. Hall”.
So, producing the “best drug delivery system ever invented”; denying cigarettes are addictive; denying that cigarettes cause cancer; producing ads that romanticized smoking; all the other outrageous conduct on the part of Big Tobacco; Mr. Murphy maintains none of that “had any effect” on Mr. Hall.
The jurors heard all Big Tobacco’s evidence, but they apparently did not accept the spin, the the manipulation or the Big Tobacco’s revisions on history.
The jurors delivered a verdict which probably went something like: we find on behalf of the plaintiffs in the amount of $3.5 million in human damages and $12.5 million in punitive damages.
Things were bound to get hot for Big Tobacco in Florida. Our juries have good noses for “spin”.