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Tag Archives: Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co.

New trial denied over smoking death

A Jackson County Circuit judge Monday overruled motions from the plaintiff seeking a new trial in a 6-year-old case against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. because of juror nondisclosure.

The most recent trial in the high-profile case against the cigarette maker ended in August. A jury found in favor of plaintiff Lincoln Smith, but with an award of $1.5 million after a second, three-and-a-half week trial in Independence.

The plaintiff's attorney, Ken McClain, of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain in Independence, had asked for $110 million in closing arguments this year. The first jury's punitive damage award totaled $20 million but was thrown out on appeal.

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Smoking trial begins again, four years later

Four years ago, attorney Ken McClain (pictured) achieved a partial victory against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. A jury awarded the family of Barbara Smith $500,000 to compensate for her 2000 death from diseases related to her 48-year smoking habit. But the accompanying $20 million punitive award was thrown out after a lengthy appeals process. This week, the case went back before Jackson County Judge Marco Roldan and a new jury, which must decide a relatively limited question: did Brown & Williamson sell the Kool cigarettes that Smith smoked with complete indifference or conscious disregard for the safety of its customers?

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