Submitted by Anne Landman on
A Massachusetts jury has ordered cigarette maker Lorillard, Inc. to pay $71 million in damages to the family of a Boston woman who said she was seduced into smoking Newport cigarettes as a child. The plaintiff, Marie Evans, died from lung cancer at age 54, after smoking Newport cigarettes for 40 years. Before her death, she gave a videotaped deposition in which described how, starting at age nine, she received free samples of cigarettes from a man in a white truck who would drive through their neighborhood passing them out to children. Evans said the trucks "seemed to be there waiting when we got out of school." Evans' sister, Leslie Adamson, corroborated her testimony. Evans accepted some responsibility for never being able to quit her nicotine addiction, even after suffering a heart attack at age 37. Lorillard denied marketing cigarettes to children and targeting black communities with Newports.