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court in the USA has ordered tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds to pay woman $23.6 billion in damages. Cynthia Robinson filed lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds in 2008 and fought for six years for compensation. Her husband Michael died of lung cancer in 1996 after two decades of smoking. He started smoking when he was 13 and died when he was 36. Mrs Robinson argued that company was negligent in not informing her husband that nicotine is addictive and that smoking can lead to lung cancer. She said tobacco companies knew in 1950s that smoking was potentially lethal and should have been more active in telling people. Johnson's lawyer said: "He couldn't quit. He was smoking day he died."

lawyer for R.J. Reynolds, America's second-largest tobacco company, said compensation was disproportionate. He said: " damages awarded in this case are grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law." He added: "This verdict goes far beyond realm of reasonableness and fairness and is completely inconsistent with evidence presented." Mrs Robinson's lawyer Chris Chestnut said jurors looked at R.J. Reynolds' aggressive marketing, particularly campaigns aimed at young people. He said: "[R.J. Reynolds] lied to Congress, they lied to public, they lied to smokers and tried to blamed smoker." He added that jury's decision was "courageous".

 
 

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