FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The family of a Florida woman who died at age 38 after smoking for more than 20 years says they have won $37.5 million in a suit against a tobacco company.
Attorneys for the family of Laura Grossman, who started smoking when she was 15, had argued R.J. Reynolds targeted teenagers such as her, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.
During the 20-day trial in Broward County, attorneys for the tobacco company argued Grossman was responsible for her own death in 1995 because her cigarette packages bore warning labels and she knew the risks.
Grossman family attorney Scott Schlesinger argued the deceased was too young to assess the risks as a teenager and had been targeted by an industry that preyed on adolescents susceptible to nicotine addiction.
"The basis of the business is kids," the attorney said.
He introduced as evidence two memorandums from Reynolds titled "The Nature of the Tobacco Business and the Crucial Role of Nicotine Therein" and "Some Thoughts About New Brands of Cigarettes for the Youth Market."
The jury awarded $15 million in compensatory damages and $22.5 million in punitive damages.
Jan Grossman said he doesn't expect to see any of the money awarded in his wife's death.
"I'm sure they will appeal [the ruling]," he said. "I definitely believe they will not pay."