Cases & Deals

R.J. Reynolds wins Bay Area jury verdict in Pooshs trial

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On February 8, 2016, following three weeks of trial and nearly 12 years of litigation, a federal jury in Oakland, California took less than 90 minutes to return a defense verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a personal injury action. The plaintiff, Nikki Pooshs, was diagnosed with Stage IV adenocarcinoma of the lung in 2003. In the 13 years following her diagnosis, the plaintiff underwent a lung lobectomy, wedge resection, bilateral adrenalectomies, and several gamma knife procedures to her brain. The plaintiff sought several million dollars of compensatory and punitive damages on claims of strict liability, negligence and fraudulent concealment. The jury rejected plaintiff's claims and found that cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds were not a substantial factor in causing her lung cancer. This was the first defense verdict in a smoking and health trial against the tobacco industry in the Bay Area.

Pooshs v. Altria Group, Inc., C 04-01221 (N.D. Cal.)