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Jury Awards $41M in Personal Injury Lawsuit Against RJ Reynolds

This is a settlement for the lawsuit.

Miami, FL: The husband of a woman who died from smoking-related emphysema, has been awarded $27,799,999.99 in punitive damages by the jury hearing his defective products case. The week prior the jury awarded Leslie Schlefstein $13.975 million in compensatory damages.

Plaintiff Leslie Schlefstein, representing the estate of his deceased wife Dawn Schlefstein, filed the lawsuit in 2008. It is one of the thousands of lawsuits resulting from the massive Engle class action against tobacco companies.

In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court decertified the Engle class and overturned a $145 billion verdict. However, it allowed up to 700,000 people who could have won judgments to use the jury's findings to file their own, individual lawsuits. Those findings include conclusions that smoking causes certain diseases and that tobacco companies deliberately hid the dangers of smoking from the public.

The jury hearing Schlefstein’s case took just three hours to reach their decision. This was the second phase of the trial, which focused on punitive damages against RJ Reynolds.

According to court documents, Dawn Schlefstein was a teenager when she started smoking. She continued to smoke a pack a day for over three decades, only quitting after she was diagnosed with emphysema in 1995. The disease continued to progress, and in 2001 she required a lung transplant. There was no dispute the disease was caused by smoking, lawyers for the Schlefsteins told the jury.

The case is Dawn Schlefstein v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., case number CACE08022558, in the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit of Florida.

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Published on Feb-6-18


Posted by

I have survived 2 bouts of lung cancer and have copd. Though hard, I'm attempting to stay away from smoking. Do I have a stake in this case? Thank you

Posted by

My Mother started smoking when she was 14, and smoked over 2 packs a day for 54 years and died from lung cancer in 2001. My question is, can I file a lawsuit on her behalf?

Posted by

What if you have emphazema from smoking?


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