John Sammon News

Defense argues young smokers have caught on to dangers of tobacco

By John Sammon | May 7, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – The defense appeared to keep to its people-knew-the-dangers strategy while plaintiff attorneys said dishonest denials from cigarette companies continued almost to this day in a lawsuit launched by a woman alleging her lungs were irreparably damaged by cigarette smoke.

Jury hands woman $1.6 million verdict in tobacco trial; Plaintiff had sought $20 million

By John Sammon | May 3, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – A jury on Thursday awarded plaintiff Karla Zingaro $1.6 million in damages for pain and suffering both past and future, anguish and loss of enjoyment of life, from a smoking addiction that caused her to suffer life-threatening lung problems.

Closing arguments heard in trial of cigarette makers accused of woman's lung problems

By John Sammon | May 2, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – Closing arguments began Wednesday in a trial accusing cigarette makers Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds of fraud, conspiracy and responsibility for a woman’s nicotine addiction that resulted in her developing lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Defense paints picture of woman smoking not from nicotine addiction, but loneliness

By John Sammon | Apr 30, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – Defense attorneys on Monday sought to portray plaintiff Karla Zingaro as a lonely woman who took to smoking because she enjoyed it and to help her deal with personal and family problems, not because of nicotine addiction as plaintiff attorneys contend.

Defense questions plaintiff about personal choice decisions in Philip Morris trial

By John Sammon | Apr 19, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE - Attorneys defending cigarette makers Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds on Thursday sought to portray plaintiff Karla Zingaro as knowing about the dangers of smoking early in her life but who disregarded the warnings and smoked anyway.

Woman testifies at trial she smoked cigarettes not knowing the dangers

By John Sammon | Apr 18, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – Karla Zingaro the plaintiff suing Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds for the lung conditions she suffers from appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday telling attorneys she became hooked on smoking at a young age not knowing the dangers from cigarette smoke.

Nutrition company cleared of responsibility in man’s liver failure

By John Sammon | Apr 18, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH – A South Florida online nutrition company was cleared of wrongdoing April 8 in the lawsuit launched by a man who alleged he suffered catastrophic liver damage after using the company’s green tea extract.

Defense seeks to convince jury that smoker's problems caused addiction, not cigarette makers

By John Sammon | Apr 17, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – Defense attorneys in the trial of a woman suing cigarette makers Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds argued Tuesday that is was the plaintiff’s problems including depression, anxiety and possible bipolar disorder that led Karla Zangaro to compulsively smoke causing her health problems.

Mistrial declared in Philip Morris case; judge finds testimony prejudicial

By John Sammon | Apr 16, 2019

MIAMI – Judge Jose Rodriguez of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida declared a mistrial April 16 in a lawsuit filed by the estate of a deceased man whose relatives argue his premature death was caused by deadly nicotine addiction from the cigarettes produced by tobacco companies Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds.

Defense in Philip Morris trial says smoking danger was known early

By John Sammon | Apr 13, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – The defense in a trial accusing cigarette maker Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds of damaging a woman’s lungs through addictive nicotine on Friday built on its case that the dangers of smoking were well known by the public for a long time.

Plaintiff attorneys say declining smoking industry targeted teen smokers

By John Sammon | Apr 12, 2019

MIAMI – Attorneys for plaintiff Rosemary Olsen on Thursday sought to portray tobacco companies Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds targeting teenage smokers as potential saviors of an industry whose overall business in the 1980's was in danger of declining, and who created bogus front organizations to combat knowledge of the dangers of smoking.

Pulmonologist says Zingaro tobacco addicted as defense calls star plaintiff witness biased

By John Sammon | Apr 12, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – A pulmonologist on Wednesday told a jury that plaintiff Karla Zingaro’s nicotine addiction kept her from being able to quit smoking for a long time and the damage done to her lungs is like trying to walk up a flight of stairs while breathing through a straw.

Tobacco researcher says 1 in 2 heavy smokers will die at Philip Morris-R.J. Reynolds trial

By John Sammon | Apr 11, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – A tobacco industry researcher called as a plaintiff witness in a lawsuit accusing Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds of causing a woman’s lung cancer described an alleged conspiracy of cigarette-makers to deny the truth including a 1950s confidential statement from a tobacco official that read, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could produce a cancer-free cigarette?”

Witness for plaintiff alleges cigarette companies hid from their own research

By John Sammon | Apr 11, 2019

MIAMI – A professor of the history and science of smoking told a jury April 10 in a trial accusing Philip Morris of causing a man’s death that cigarette-makers ignored their own internal findings to deny the dangers of smoking.

Opening remarks begin in trial against Philip Morris; At issue - responsibility for addiction

By John Sammon | Apr 9, 2019

MIAMI – Opening arguments began Tuesday in a trial to determine if cigarette maker Phillip Morris caused a man’s smoking addiction leading him to suffer cardiovascular and coronary artery damage and eventually a debilitating stroke that left him in what plaintiff attorneys contended was a shell of his former self.

Plaintiff witness compares tobacco company’s opinion of smokers to a laboratory rat

By John Sammon | Apr 6, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE – During questioning of a tobacco industry researcher on Friday, plaintiff attorneys presented internal documents that indicated officials at Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds considered smokers their customers to be like laboratory reward-response animals.

Trial begins in Florida tobacco smoking addiction case against Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds

By John Sammon | Apr 4, 2019

Opening arguments began Wednesday in the case of a woman suing tobacco companies Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds for the nicotine-fueled addiction she alleges caused her smoking-related illnesses including lung cancer, pitting plaintiff attorneys against those for the defense who contend she would have smoked no matter what.

After awarding $2.5M compensation to widow, jury decides no punitive damages against Philip Morris

By John Sammon | Feb 25, 2019

A jury on Monday decided not to impose cigarette maker Philip Morris with a punitive damage award, evidently agreeing with a contention by defense attorneys that the company should not be punished for mistakes of the past.

Jurors award plaintiff $2.5 million in lung cancer death; Plaintiff sought $8 million from Philip Morris

By John Sammon | Feb 22, 2019

MIAMI - Jurors on Friday hit cigarette maker Philp Morris with a $2.5 million damage award to the family of Ulysee Holliman finding the company liable for Holliman’s death from lung cancer in 1993.

Plaintiffs asking for $8 million in Philip Morris lung cancer trial

By John Sammon | Feb 21, 2019

MIAMI – Closing arguments in the lawsuit filed against Philip Morris by the family of a man who died of lung cancer saw attorneys for Ulysee Holliman argue that nicotine addiction killed him and the cigarette maker conspired to fool the public on the dangers of smoking.

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