Landmark Engle Suit Goes to Jury
Almost a year after they were chosen, jurors who listened to the first smokers' class-action case to reach trial were expected to begin deliberations today.
The six-member jury will be asked to decide whether the nation's five biggest cigarette makers and two industry groups are responsible for injuries smokers claim they suffered because they couldn't quit smoking. The smokers say the tobacco industry made a defective product and conspired to deceive the public and government about smoking-related illnesses. The industry contends smokers should have known the risks of smoking and are responsible for their own decision to light up. Tobacco officials also deny allegations they purposely made more addictive cigarettes.