Link to Silverman Interview with Jimmy Barrett on Tobacco Verdict
It probably won't shock you that the verdict came from Florida as it seems Florida has monopolized all of the shocking verdicts in recent years. The case involved a 36 year old man who died of lung cancer. He started smoking in 1973 at the age of 13 and he was a multi-pack chain smoker. He died leaving behind a wife and child. The trial lasted 4 weeks and the jury deliberated for 15 hours before rendering a verdict of $16 million in compensatory damages and a whopping $24 billion in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds.
Yesterday I was asked to be interviewed by Jimmy Barrett and I said yes before putting a lot of thought into it. I was concerned that it was going to be battle mocking trial lawyers, but I think the interview this morning went well. Here's a link to the interview.
As I explained in the interview, this verdict is going to be reduced to a tiny fraction of the award. Secondly I doubt these cases would have much success in Virginia. Virginia is a conservative state with a $350,000 cap on punitive damages.