The Massachusetts Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s judgment in favor of two major tobacco manufacturing companies, finding the jury was erroneously instructed that the plaintiff had to prove a reasonable alternative design was available before the plaintiff’s decedent became addicted to cigarettes.

As a youth in the 1960s, Richard Main began smoking Kent cigarettes, which were manufactured and distributed by the defendant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., successor to Lorillard Tobacco Co. Richard Main later began buying and smoking Marlboro cigarettes, which were manufactured by Philip Morris USA Inc., according to the court’s opinion filed on Friday.

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