Jury awards $37.5M to family of Fla. smoker

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — R.J. Reynolds says it will appeal a Florida jury’s decision to award $37.5 million in damages to the family of a smoker who died of lung cancer in 1995.

Laura Grossman of South Florida died at age 38.

Attorneys for the Grossman family argued that as a teenager, Grossman was targeted by tobacco companies.

R.J. Reynolds’ lawyers said Grossman knew the dangers of smoking because cigarettes had warning labels when she started.

The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict. That ruling also said smokers and their families needed only prove addiction and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths.

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