A widow of a chain-smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996 has been awarded more than $23billion in damages by a tobacco firm.
Cynthia Robinson, of Florida, sued America’s second biggest cigarette firm RJ Reynolds over the death of her husband, Michael Johnson.
She claimed the company conspired to conceal the health dangers of its products.
Johnson died aged 36 after smoking between one and three packets a day for more 20 years.
After a four-week trial and 11 hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict granting compensatory damages in the millions to the widow and the couple’s child.
An additional sum of $23.6bn in punitive damages was given to Robinson after further deliberation.