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RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris - Tobacco Hit With $3.3 Million Verdict

An Alachua County jury awarded $3,375,000 against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Phillip Morris USA, Inc. for smoking and addiction-related injuries to John Huish.
    WEST PALM BEACH, FL, February 25, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- An Alachua County jury awarded $3,375,000 against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Phillip Morris USA, Inc. for the wrongful death of John Huish, who died of lung cancer after 46 years of smoking Lucky Strike, Camel and Marlboro cigarettes. The verdict includes $3,000,000 in punitive damages.

David J. Sales, James W. Gustafson, of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, along with Gabriel F. Zambrano represented Huish's widow, Anna Lou, now 81. The plaintiff's lawyers showed that Mr. Huish started smoking as a teen in rural Arizona, 20 years before the first warning labels ever appeared on cigarette packs. Under the standard required by the Florida Supreme Court's "Engle" decision, the plaintiff needed to show that Huish was addicted to nicotine and nicotine addiction caused his death.

"The jury's work in this case was amazing," Sales said. "It's hard work to try and understand how much things have changed--and the need to punish these defendants for their outrages of the past, including hawking cigarettes to children."

"Mr. Huish is another example of our greatest generation, someone who started smoking as a teen, and was cut down by addiction to addiction," said Gustafson.

This marks five straight verdicts in tobacco suits by the lawyers for Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley. "A few months ago, the industry thought the legal landscape had changed," Sales said. "We don't think so."

At Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, justice is more than a word.

Our philosophy is one of respect for the language of justice, embodied in words such as


These words reflect the values we were taught as children, and they define who we are as citizens of the world. But too often, they are just words.

We take these values seriously, and they are reflected in our practice.


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Searcy Denney

West Palm Beach, Florida
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