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Jury Hands Down Billion Dollar Verdict Against Tobacco Industry

This unprecedented verdict indicates that the present moment is crucial for continuing to bring cases and push juries to hold big tobacco companies accountable for legacies of wrongdoing.

In Woburn, MA, jurors recently handed down $1B in punitive damages against Philip Morris tobacco company. The case was on behalf of Barbara Ellen Fontain, who passed from lung cancer in 2017. A smoker since she was 15, Fontaine’s representatives successfully demonstrated that her lung cancer was directly connected to her lifelong addiction to Phillip Morris’ cigarettes.

The representatives of the Fontaine family argued that Philip Morris’ research of alternative cigarette designs in the mid-twentieth century demonstrates that the company was aware of the health risks associated with consuming their cigarettes. The jury also found that Phillip Morris conspired with other tobacco companies at the exact same time to develop and market cigarettes they knew to be harmful, going so far as to target minors like Barbara Fontain with their advertising.

Philip Morris’ defense argued that the company has made good faith efforts to address these past wrongs, which the plaintiff’s lawyers pointed out was not voluntarily undertaken and done only after the attorney generals of states brought suits against the tobacco industry.

Tein Malone cases have already resulted in millions of dollars in damages awarded to its plaintiffs. However, this billion-dollar verdict is another scale of potential awards for plaintiffs wronged by big tobacco. A verdict of this scale also signals that juries are amenable to cases that seek to hold big tobacco accountable for histories of addiction and subsequent health consequences.

Now, more than ever, is the time to sue, not only for the damages done to you or your loved ones but to pave the way for the other victims of big tobacco to receive fair compensation as well. At Tein Malone, we have the experience, education, and compassion to get you the compensation you deserve.


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