Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Briefs

Article excerpt

Tobacco firm plans to fight verdict

The nation's No. 2 cigarette maker is vowing to fight a jury verdict in Florida of $23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. executive J. Jeffery Raborn has called the damages awarded by a Pensacola jury "grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law."

"This verdict goes far beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented," Raborn, a company vice president and assistant general counsel, said in a statement. "We plan to file post-trial motions with the trial court promptly, and are confident that the court will follow the law and not allow this runaway verdict to stand."

One of the widow's attorneys said the verdict Friday night sends a powerful message to tobacco companies.

"The jury wanted to send a statement that tobacco cannot continue to lie to the American people and the American government about the addictiveness of and the deadly chemicals in their cigarettes," said Christopher Chestnut, one of the attorneys representing Cynthia Robinson.

Weather may help contain wildfire * Cooler temperatures and lighter winds are forecast to descend on a wildfire-stricken Washington state, helping firefighters battle flames that have been growing unfettered for a week and have covered hundreds of square miles.

While Sunday's weather provided slight improvements on the hot temperatures and gusty winds that have fueled the wildfires, the forecast for today and Tuesday calls for lighter winds and temperatures, said Spokane-based National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Koch.

"Overall, it looks like the weather scenario is improving," Koch said.

Sunday's official estimate puts the wildfire burning in north- central Washington at more than 370 square miles. It measured 260 square miles on Friday.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers estimated that 150 homes had been destroyed, but said the number could be higher. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.