R.J. Reynolds wins complete defense verdict in Stoklosa smoking & health lawsuit
Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Following three weeks of trial, a jury in state court in Chicago, Illinois returned a complete defense verdict in favor of Jones Day client, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, in a smoking & health case. The plaintiff asserted that Reynolds' cigarettes were negligently and defectively designed, that Reynolds had demonstrated disregard for its customer's welfare and that Reynolds and other tobacco companies had fraudulently misrepresented the health risks and addictive nature of cigarettes. Plaintiff sought both compensatory damages of $33.5 million and unspecified punitive damages as a result of developing laryngeal cancer from his smoking, ultimately leading to the removal of his voice box and necessitating the use of an electrolarynx for the rest of his life. After one day of deliberations, the jury returned a unanimous verdict for Reynolds on each of the Plaintiff's claims. The jury also rejected plaintiff's claim he was entitled to punitive damages. This was the first-ever smoking & health suit tried in Chicago.
Kevin Stoklosa v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, No. 2019-L-012409 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.)