Kelley | Uustal Secures $13 Million Verdict in Tobacco Case

Last month, Kelley/Uustal was successful in securing a $13 million jury award on behalf of an Oakland Park widow whose husband died from lung cancer. The verdict - awarded by a Ft. Lauderdale jury - included $10 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages against cigarette powerhouses R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris.

The case - handled by Attorneys Todd McPharlin, Eric Rosen, and Kim Wald - involved a Florida butcher, Paul Pollari, who passed away from lung cancer in 1994 after having smoked for roughly 50 years. Prompted by the belief that cigarettes were safe, Pollari began smoking as an early teen in the 1940s and continued throughout his life despite many attempts to quit.

Kelley/Uustal’s team litigated the case aggressively, citing the failures of big tobacco to adequately warn consumers like Pollari, and their efforts to actively keep them addicted. Ultimately, the jury awarded Pollari’s widow $10 million in damages for her loss of companionship and protection, and for her pain and suffering. The jury also awarded $1.5 million in punitive damages against both R. J. Reynolds and Philip Morris for failing to warn consumers about the dangers of their products.

Attorney McPharlin commented on the case:

“Not only does the verdict help Mrs. Pollari find some semblance of closure, it’s another example of jurors seeing big tobacco’s decades-long ruse for what it was—a lie—and holding them accountable.” 

Kelley/Uustal is passionate about advocating on behalf of victims and families who have suffered at the hands of Big Tobacco. In February, our firm was instrumental in helping a widow secure a $17.4 million verdict against Philip Morris. You can read more about our most recent case in this article.

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