WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Feb. 22 LAWFUEL – The Law News N…

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Feb. 22 LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Company applauds the near unanimous verdict handed down today by a
jury in Independence, Mo., in favor of R.J. Reynolds and other cigarette
manufacturers named in an individual smoking and health case. Eighty year old
William A. VanDenBurg claimed that smoking cigarettes for more than 30 years
caused him to develop lung cancer. He sought $15 million in compensatory

“We are pleased with the jury’s verdict,” says J. Jeffery Raborn, senior
counsel for R.J. Reynolds. “They carefully listened to, and evaluated, the
evidence presented and made the correct decision.”

VanDenBurg alleged the defendants did not adequately warn consumers about
the health risks of smoking, and conspired to withhold medical and scientific
information regarding the health effects of cigarette smoking.

“According to his own testimony, Mr. VanDenBurg acknowledged that no
statement made by the cigarette manufacturers, including the warnings on their
cigarette packages and advertisements, had any effect on his smoking
behavior,” Raborn says. “The jury applied its common sense and determined the
plaintiff made an informed decision to smoke.”

The case was tried in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mo., at
Independence before Judge W. Stephen Nixon. The jury consisted of 12 members.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, an indirect subsidiary of Reynolds American
Inc. (NYSE: RAI), is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States,
manufacturing about one of every three cigarettes sold in the country. The
company’s brands include five of the 10 best-selling U.S. cigarette brands:
Camel, Kool, Winston, Salem and Doral. For more information, visit

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