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Court Awards $35M To Fla. Smoker’s Widow

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer over 15 years ago has been awarded $35 million in damages.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld a jury’s verdict of awarding Dorothy Alexander $25 million in punitive damages and $10 million in compensatory damages against Lorillard Tobacco Co.

Lorillard unsuccessfully argued the damages were excessive and raised a number of other claims.

Alexander had been married to her late husband, Coleman Alexander, for almost 38 years.  Coleman, 59, a longtime smoker, died in 1996 of lung cancer.

The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after 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 and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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