FOLLOWING TOBACCO VERDICT,
ATTORNEYS MARY ALEXANDER, GARY PAUL ASSERT
"UNFORTUNATE THAT MISLEADING WITNESSES WOULD COUNTERMAND ABSOLUTE FACT OF A VICTIM'S ILLNESS";
POINT TO JURORS' STATEMENTS THAT THEY DID NOT BELIEVE VICTIM HAD CANCER;
TOBACCO GIANTS PHILLIP MORRIS AND R.J. REYNOLDS
CHALLENGED FOR 52 YEAR-OLD'S LUNG AND BRAIN CANCER
ALEXANDER AND PAUL EXPRESS DIASPPOINTMENT, CONSIDERING APPEAL
(Sacramento, CA) - Following the verdict in California's Superior Court today against a 52 year-old lung and brain cancer victim and in favor of Phillip Morris and RJR Tobacco, consumer attorneys Mary Alexander of San Francisco and Gary Paul of Santa Monica spoke to jurors. Alexander and Paul stated, "We are pleased the jury told us they understood that RJR and Phillips lied, deceived, and concealed evidence of tobacco's harm from the American people. The jurors told us they also agreed that the tobacco companies defrauded and targeted children."
"However, the jurors told us they thought Mr. Lucier did not have cancer because of tobacco companies' witnesses. It is unfortunate that misleading witnesses brought in by the tobacco companies would countermand absolute fact of a victim's illness, and we are strongly considering appeal," Alexander and Paul stated.
Alexander and Paul added, "Following the verdict, the tobacco companies continue to deceive, claiming on their website that jurors made the decision that the plaintiff was negligent. In fact, RJR and Phillips had waived the claim of negligence."
"In addition, a number of jurors told us that if this were a class action case, they would have had no problem finding for the plaintiffs," stated Alexander and Paul.
Alexander and Paul expressed disappointment in the verdict.
Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds were challenged for 52 year-old Larry Lucier's lung cancer from smoking, which has metastasized to his brain. Alexander and Paul state that Lucier, who is married and has a seven year-old daughter, "will die prematurely; he has less than a 2% chance of living another 5 years. "
Alexander and Paul stated that Philip Morris and RJR, "along with the other cigarette manufacturers, have, over the course of decades, misrepresented, concealed, suppressed, and failed to disclose information known to them concerning the addictive and harmful properties of their product. The defendants have affirmatively misled the American public." Plaintiffs Laurence Lucier and his wife, Laurie Lucier, "seek to hold Defendants Philip Morris and RJR responsible for the consequences of their decades-long fraud."
Alexander and Paul argued that "Philip Morris and RJR knew that cigarettes kill, but that if the word ever got out, they would lose billions of dollars. They purposely kept nicotine and tar levels high so that they could sell cigarettes in spite of the fact that they knew of the danger of addiction and cancer. This case has broad, industry-wide implications." The trial lasted three months, since November 7.
(Source: Robert Weiner Associates and Mary Alexander & Associates 301-283-0821)