Cases & Deals

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

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On November 17, 2021, following three and a half weeks of trial, a jury in state court in Lowell, Massachusetts returned a complete 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 the case began smoking at age 12 and died at age 59, less than two years after his laryngeal cancer diagnosis. He left a spouse and three sons, all of whom had individual claims for pain and suffering and loss of companionship and support, as well as claims for punitive damages. After two days of deliberations, the jury rejected each of the plaintiff's claims. This was the third complete defense verdict in a smoking and health trial against R.J. Reynolds in Massachusetts.

Thomas Babaletos v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, No. 1881-CV-03523-L2 (Super. Ct. Middlesex Cty., Mass.)