R.J. Reynolds’ case goes up in smoke, loses lawsuit, must pay $23.6 billion

From ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  (photo credit:  Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

From ashes to ashes, dust to dust. (photo credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Chalk one up for the little guys.  According to a CNN report today, tobacco kingpin R. J. Reynolds lost a lawsuit to Florida widow Cynthia Robinson and will have to fork over $23.6 billion.  Representatives for R. J. Reynolds called the verdict “excessive and outrageous” and are planning to appeal.

The company has repeatedly won lawsuits levied against them on the grounds that people willingly smoke cigarettes and the tobacco company should not be held responsible for something that they are not forcing people to do.  They simply make the product available and, if a person chooses to buy and consume the product, the manufacturer should not be held responsible.  ( Continue reading full story here.)

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