A billion dollars buys a lot of cigarettes, but $23 billion buys even more! A Florida court has sided with Cynthia Robinson, the widow of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer 20 years ago, and ordered RJ Reynolds, owner of Camel cigarettes, to pay a record $23 billion dollars in punitive damages.
That's over a decade worth of profits for America's second largest peddler of nicotine. Joe Camel will really have to ratchet up the kiddie appeal to make up a hit like that. Nicotine Go-Gurt maybe?
Just days before the record-setting judgment was announced, RJ Reynolds said they planned to buy Lorillard, maker of Newport, for $27 billion dollars, but now it looks like that money will go to Mrs. Robinson instead.
This judgment also leaves the door open to more lawsuits against tobacco giants. The Marlboro Man, Joe Camel, and god forbid, hipster favorite-the American Spirit Indian might all be out of work soon. Thank god there's still e-Cigarettes!
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