North Carolina native Paul E. Rouse will collect $7.25 million from tobacco companies who committed fraud in order to induce him to smoke cigarettes. Rouse developed coronary artery disease as a result of his addiction to smoking R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company cigarettes. Rouse sued for strict liability, fraud by concealment, conspiracy to commit fraudulent concealment, and negligence, which resulted in his addiction to cigarettes. Mr. Rouse, who is a native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, is not that different from hundreds of thousands of addicted smokers who have been harmed by the fraudulent conduct of the tobacco companies.
Virtually everyone who is addicted to cigarettes and has developed a serious disease from smoking has a case against the tobacco companies for its fraudulent conduct over many years. Mr. Rouse' case, like virtually every other case on behalf of a nicotine-addicted cigarette smoker, is based upon the fact that the tobacco companies lied to children in order to get them addicted to cigarettes. As a result, these children grew up into lifelong cigarette-smoking adults who developed serious physical problems as a result of a lifetime of smoking. Mr. Rouse' story is much the same as that of all smokers.
Jury Verdict In Favor of Smoker Wins 7.25 Million
In upholding a jury verdict in favor of Mr. Rouse, the Florida appellate courts noted that the evidence showed that Mr. Rouse was born in 1954 and grew up in Rocky Mount, a small town where cigarette smoking was so prevalent that the town became known as "the heart of tobacco land". Rouse tried his first cigarette at age 8 or 9 and became a regular smoker by age 15, smoking one pack of cigarettes per day. By age 17, he smoked two packs a day. Throughout his teen years, Rouse was exposed to cigarette advertisements on television, radio, billboards, magazines, and park and bus stop benches.
The overall message Rouse got from these advertisements was that smoking was normal and that "everyone was doing it".
Once Rouse became a regular smoker, he switched to Winston filtered cigarettes because he believed filtered cigarettes to be safe if they were so advertised. Rouse testified that if Winston cigarettes did not have a filter, he would not have smoked them.
Rouse had made multiple attempts to quit smoking, but he did not actually quit smoking until after he underwent triple bypass surgery for his heart condition, which was caused by smoking cigarettes.
Rouse proved his addiction to cigarettes containing nicotine through the testimony of an expert in the field of addiction as well as his cardiologist. A Florida jury awarded Rouse $5 million in compensatory damages and, also award punitive damages in the amount of $2.25 million. The punitive damages were awarded because of fraudulent conduct on the part of the tobacco company. North Carolina has had very few, if any, trials related to smoking tobacco. However, Brent Adams and Associates is taking these tobacco cases.
Brent Adams and Associates Is Here To Help North Carolina Residents
If you or a loved one has developed serious physical problems or has died as a result of a lifetime of smoking cigarettes, please call Brent Adams and Associates for a free no-obligation consultation at 910-888-8888.