Damages phase to start Sept. 7 in Fla. smokers case
A Florida judge on Thursday set Sept. 7 as the starting date for the damages phase of a landmark trial in which a jury found leading U.S. cigarette makers liable for a variety of diseases suffered by smokers.
A six-person jury last week found Philip Morris Cos. Inc. and other tobacco companies liable in the massive class action lawsuit on behalf of as many as one million sick Florida smokers and their survivors.
Judge Robert Kaye on Thursday ordered lawyers to try together the claims of Mary Farnan and Angie Della Vecchia, two plaintiffs who suffer from lung cancer they blame on cigarette smoking.
The trial will fix cash damages, if any, to be paid to the two. Estimates of potential damages for all the sick smokers range as high as $500 billion.