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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — The South Florida family of a deceased smoker has been awarded $75 million in damages against four tobacco companies.

Thursday’s verdict in Fort Lauderdale came in the case of Johnnie Calloway, a smoker who died in 1992. His widow and daughter sued the four companies, blaming his death on an unbreakable cigarette habit.

The companies are Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and Liggett. Cigarette makers routinely appeal verdicts and often succeed in getting large damage awards reduced.

The case is one of thousands proceeding in Florida courts.

They are being tried individually because the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict. That ruling also said smokers and their families need only prove addiction to cigarettes and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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