Cases & Deals

R.J. Reynolds wins complete defense verdict in Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On March 27, 2019, following nearly four weeks of trial, a jury in state court in Dedham, Massachusetts returned a defense verdict in favor of Jones Day client, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, in a wrongful death case. The plaintiff asserted that Reynolds' cigarettes were defectively designed, negligently marketed, and that Reynolds conspired with other tobacco manufacturers to conceal the health risks and addictive nature of cigarettes. The smoker in this case began smoking at age 12 and died at age 54, three months after her lung cancer diagnosis. She left a spouse and three children, all of whom had individual claims for pain and suffering and loss of companionship and support, as well as claims for punitive damages. After approximately six hours of deliberations, the jury rejected each of the plaintiff's claims. This was the first defense verdict in a smoking and health trial against R.J. Reynolds in Massachusetts.

Lagadimas ex rel. O'Toole vs. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, No. 1582CV01474 (Super. Ct. Norfolk Cty., Mass.)