Patricia Allen began smoking in 1966 at the age of 17. Within two years she became addicted to nicotine. Despite attempts to quit she smoked about two packs per day for the next 36 years. She was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in 1996 and died in 2009 at age 60.
Her husband sued R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Philip Morris USA Incorporated, which manufactured the brands which Allen smoked. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous product, failed to warn of the health risks of cigarettes, concealed information about their dangers and their addictiveness and conspired with each other and with other tobacco companies to conceal the hazards.
The jury concluded that Allen was addicted to Nicotine and that her smoking was the proximate cause of her fatal COPD. It apportioned liability at 45% R. J. Reynolds, 40% Allen and 15% to Philip Morris. It awarded $6 million dollars in compensatory damages and $34 million dollars in punitive damages. The Defendants have appealed the awards.
If you have contracted COPD from smoking cigarettes you may be entitled to seek compensation from a tobacco company. If you wish to discuss your case in confidence please contact Liam Moloney, Solicitor in Naas, at 045 898000 or simply log onto our website www.moloneysolicitors.ie for further information.