Florida jury weighs tobacco trial lawsuit

First of 8,000 tobacco lawsuit cases goes to jury deliberation in Florida Supreme Court.

West Palm Beach, FL (JusticeNewsFlash.com)–The Associated Press (AP) reported late Thursday, a Florida Supreme Court jury began deliberations in the first of about 8,000 lawsuits against tobacco companies. The lawsuit, filed by toxic tort lawyers representing Elaine Hess the widow of Stuart Hess, claims her dead spouse helplessly chain smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for decades.

The Florida Supreme Court declassified the $145 billion class action lawsuit against big tobacco manufacturers in 2006. The Florida Supreme Court ruled tobacco companies knowingly sold dangerous products and concealed the risks of cigarette smoking to consumers. The high court ruled each case would have to be litigated in court rooms individually. The plaintiff’s attorneys hope the jury finds Hess was addicted to nicotine which eventually caused his lung cancer and death.

The widow of Hess is seeking damages for the wrongful death of her husband from Philip Morris, the nation’s largest tobacco company.

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Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.