A jury rejected a smoker’s argument that he developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and an aortic aneurysm as a result of being addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
Dennis Deshaies, then 62, was diagnosed with both conditions in 1992. He claimed that since 2005 he has used an oxygen tank 24 hours per day to assist with breathing. He claimed he began smoking as a teenager before the packs warned of the health hazards and addictive nature of cigarettes.
Defense counsel contended Deshaies was not addicted to smoking. They also claimed his COPD and aortic aneurysm were not caused by smoking.
Case: Deshaies v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
Case No.: 3:09-cv-11080
Plaintiffs attorneys: Kenneth S. Byrd, Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, Nashville; and Elizabeth J. Cabraser and Richard M. Heimann, Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, San Francisco
Defense attorneys: Kelly Anne Luther, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, Miami; David M. Monde and Caitlin M. Shetter, Atlanta, and Dennis L. Murphy, Cleveland, Jones Day