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Family of Woman Who Smoked as Teen to Get $37M

A tobacco company must pay $37.5 million to the surviving family members of a Florida woman who died from lung cancer in 1995 at the age of 38 after smoking for over 20 years, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was filed by the family of Laura Grossman, who began smoking at the age of 15. The family's lawyers argued that tobacco giant R. J. Reynolds targeted teenagers such as Grossman in its marketing campaigns.

Attorneys for R.J. Reynolds argued that the company should not be held responsible for Grossman's death because the cigarette packages she purchased contained a label warning of the risks involved with smoking.

The family's attorney argued that Grossman, at 15, was too young to weigh the risks of smoking and that she, and others like her, were targeted by the tobacco industry in television and print advertising.

After a 20-day trial in Broward County, the jury issued a verdict in favor of the family, awarding $15 million in compensatory damages and $22.5 million in punitive damages.