Photo: Tomasz Sienicki via Wikimeida Commons Photo: Tomasz Sienicki via Wikimeida Commons

PRODUCTS LIABILITY

VOLUSIA CIRCUIT COURT

A jury found R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. partially liable in the death of a longtime smoker in Volusia County.

In 1998, construction worker Robert Quackenbush, 49, died of lung cancer after smoking heavily for many years. His widow sued the cigarette maker, alleging negligence, product design defect and fraudulent concealment, among other claims.

The jury found R.J. Reynolds was negligent and its cigarettes had a design defect but that Quackenbush did not rely on misleading statements. The jury also found Quackenbush 80 percent liable for his cancer and R.J. Reynolds 20 percent. The net damages award was $71,630. The jury also assessed $930,000 in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds, bringing to the total award to  $1 million.

Case: Quackenbush v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco

Case No.: 2007 12188 CIDL

Plaintiffs attorneys: Parama Karuna Liberman, Ogle Law, Gainesville, and William H. Ogle, Ogle Law, Daytona Beach

Defense attorneys: Timothy J. Fiorta and Dennis L. Murphy, Cleveland, and Jesika Wehunt French, Atlanta, Jones Day