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

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

 
 

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