Jury Finds Tobacco Company Liable for Racial Targeting in Smoker’s Death

The Boston Globe reports that a Suffolk County Superior Court jury found the Lorillard Tobacco Company “liable for the death of a Roxbury woman who said that, at age 9, she received free samples of Newport cigarettes in a targeted marketing campaign.”

The estate of the deceased Marie Evans and her son, who filed a wrongful death suit in 2004, won a combined $71 million award.

In videotaped depositions, Marie Evans “testified that Lorillard representatives drove around the Orchard Park apartments in a white box truck-similar to an ice cream truck-passing out Newports to her and other children.”

The jury found Lorillard “negligent in marketing Newports to children such as Evans and failing to warn her of the health risks.”

The Globe adds, “The verdict sets up a second phase of deliberations in which the jury could also award Evans’s estate and family punitive damages, which often are a multiple of the amounts awarded in the compensatory phase.”

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