Cases & Deals

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

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Following three and a half weeks of trial, a jury in state court in Boston, 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 and negligently marketed and distributed and that Reynolds engaged in unfair and deceptive conduct in connection with the marketing and sale of its cigarettes, failed to adequately warn the decedent about the dangers of smoking cigarettes before July 1, 1969, and conspired with other tobacco manufacturers to conceal the health risks and addictive nature of cigarettes. The decedent began smoking when she was a teenager and died at age 71 from lung cancer. She left a spouse and two daughters, all of whom sought damages on behalf of the estate, and asserted individual claims, for compensatory and punitive damages. After two days of deliberations, the jury rejected each of the plaintiff's claims. This was the fourth complete defense verdict in a smoking and health trial against R.J. Reynolds in Massachusetts.

James Kinnally v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, No. 1684-CV-3937G (Super. Ct. Suffolk Cty., Mass.)