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Lawsuit against tobacco company goes to trial

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Opening statements are scheduled to
begin in a trial against a tobacco company by the wife of a Florida
smoker who died of lung cancer.

It's the first trial since the state Supreme Court threw out a $145 billion punitive damage award stemming from a class-action suit against cigarette makers.

But the high court upheld a jury's findings that the tobacco companies sold dangerous products and hid the dangers of smoking, and said smokers could sue individually.

About 8,000 such cases were filed by the January deadline.

The trial on the lawsuit brought by Elaine Hess was set to begin
Wednesday.

Her husband, Stuart Hess, was a smoker who she says
tried many times to quit.

A flood in the Broward County Courthouse forced the postponement Monday and Tuesday.


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