Man paid 'ultimate price' for smoking

April 13, 2011 at 11:48 AM
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PALM BEACH, Fla., April 13 (UPI) -- A Florida man who died of lung cancer paid the "ultimate price" for the decision of tobacco companies to put profit over people's health, an attorney said.

Lawyer Steven Hammer asked a Palm Beach County jury to order four tobacco companies to give $10 million to the 87-year-old widow of Dominick Tullo of Lake Worth, The Palm Beach Post reported.

In addition to the $10 million, Hammer urged the jury during closing arguments Tuesday to find the companies acted recklessly, a move that would set the stage for punitive damages.

Kathleen Gallagher, an attorney for Philip Morris, said there is ample evidence Tullo had read surgeon general reports linking smoking to lung cancer so cigarette makers can't be blamed for his 1998 death.

Jury deliberations in the case were to begin Wednesday after attorneys representing R.J. Reynolds, Lorrilard and Liggett Group deliver closing arguments.

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