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Freidin Brown: $3.48M Verdict In Smoker Case

Phil Freidin of the Firm, along with co-counsel Alex Alvarez, obtained a $6 million verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company on March 20, 2013 after a week and half trial before Judge Tuter in Broward County.

The Decedent, Phil Marotta, began smoking at age 12 in 1959 and smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes per day for approximately 34 years. Mr. Marotta was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 46 and died within 6 months at age 47. He left behind three children: Phil J. Marotta (who was 20 at the time of his father’s death in 1994), Andrea Bacener (who was 17 at the time of her father’s death) and Jill Marotta (who was 23 at the time of her father’s death).

Phil J. Marotta, the Decedent’s son, brought the lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds on behalf of his father’s Estate and asserted claims for Negligence, Product Defect, Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud.

The jury awarded each child $2 million on the claim of Product Defect and found that the Decedent was 42 responsible for his injuries and death and that R.J. Reynolds was 58 responsible for his injuries and death.

Thus, the net verdict was $3.48 million.

R.J. Reynolds was represented by lawyers Mark Belasic and Dennis Murphy from Jones Day in Ohio. R.J. Reynolds denied that Mr. Marotta was addicted to nicotine in cigarettes and denied that his lung cancer was caused by smoking cigarettes.

Featured in Daily Business Review.

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