New Mexico woman sues over cigarette claims
A woman who switched to an additive-free brand of cigarettes because she thought they were less harmful to her health filed suit against the cigarette's manufacturer as well as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco after developing lung cancer.
In New Mexico's first lawsuit filed by an individual against tobacco companies, Juanell Davis, 57, asked for damages from privately owned Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company and R.J. Reynolds, which makes the Winston brand she smoked previously.
Davis asked for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from the two companies after losing part of her left lung to cancer.
The lawsuit, filed in state court on Thursday, alleged fraud, misrepresentation, civil conspiracy and violations of New Mexico's Unfair Practices Act.
"If I had any idea that this addiction was going to be so controlling, strong and permanent, I never would have smoked my first cigarette,'' Davis said in a statement released by Rhett Klok with Branch Law Firm of Albuquerque.A leading anti-tobacco lawyer, Norwood Wilner of Jacksonville, Florida, will serve as co-counsel.