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An 82-year-old Cape Coral smoker won a jury award of nearly $1 million against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco after developing laryngeal cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The Miami-Dade Circuit jury found Reynolds was negligent, committed fraud by concealment and fraud conspiracy and placed a defective product on the market, which caused Julie Reese’s addiction to nicotine.

Reese, who still smokes, was cured of cancer diagnosed in 1994 and has severe COPD but is not oxygen dependent.

The jury in the case before Judge Jose Rodriguez awarded a total of $3.3 million in damages Friday but found Reese was 70 percent at fault, reducing her award to $984,000.

“Our client is very happy with the result, and we look forward to an affirmance on appeal,” said Jeffrey Sloman, who tried the case for Reese with Allan B. Kaiser of the Ferraro Law Firm in Coral Gables.

Carlton Fields partner Benjamine Reid, who led the defense, said, “Unless we get relief at the post-trial motions, we will definitely appeal.”

Sloman said the verdict was the first for a Miami-Dade plaintiff since the Florida Supreme Court disbanded a statewide smoker class action in 2006.

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