A closely watched trial against a tobacco company should end
this week, attorneys said yesterday after a day of testimony
that included a chorus of the 1940s hit song Smoke, Smoke, Smoke
Attorneys for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., defending itself in
the Jacksonville wrongful-death trial, said they'll finish their
case today. The trial is in its fourth week.
Jurors will hear four hours of closing arguments Friday morning
and could deliberate Saturday, Circuit Judge Bernard Nachman
said. He'll ask the six jurors today if they're available
The trial's length has already exceeded the judge's
expectations. When the jurors were selected April 8, Nachman
assured them the case would last two to three weeks.
During deliberations, jurors will review stacks of complex
medical and scientific testimony to help them decide whether
Reynolds should be held responsible for the death of Jean
The Jacksonville woman smoked two to three packs of Reynolds
brand cigarettes a day for 22 years. When she died of cancer in
1995 at age 49, her younger sister, Dana Raulerson, pursued the
lawsuit on behalf of her late sister's estate.
Reynolds attorneys claim Connor wasn't addicted because she
stopped smoking the first time she tried: in 1993, shortly
before she felt a lump in her neck that was cancerous. She, like
everyone else, knew cigarettes had health risks but chose to
continue smoking, they said. …