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Mass. Court Tosses Part Of Cigarette Samples Case

This article is more than 7 years old.

Massachusetts' highest court says the family of a late Boston woman who got free cigarette samples as a child can keep $35 million in punitive damages, but it threw out an $81 million compensatory damages award.

Marie Evans, 10, in 1958.
Marie Evans, 10, in 1958.

The justices on Tuesday ordered a new trial on the compensation issue.

The wrongful death suit was brought against Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard Tobacco Co. by the son of Marie Evans, who died of cancer in 2002 at age 54. Her family said she became a regular smoker at about age 13 after repeatedly getting free Newport cigarette samples at a playground.

The justices found jurors didn't get proper instructions on a wrongful death theory based on negligent design and marketing.

They also vacated the finding that Evans' death was caused by Lorillard's negligence.

This program aired on June 11, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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