Florida Jury Awards $23.6 Billion to Widow of Michael Johnson in Smoking Lawsuit Against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company … What Happened to Personal Responsibility?

Sorry, I am no fan of the cigarette industry, but I am one of personal responsibility. I generally cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke and don’t understand why anyone even uses them, but this jury verdict is absurd and needs to be overturned by appeal.

An Escambia County, Florida jury awarded the widow of of a 36 year old man who died of lung cancer $23.6 million. The verdict included more than $16 million in compensatory damages. Cynthia Robinson claimed that smoking killed her husband, Michael Johnson, in 1996 at the age of 36 after he had smoked from the age of 13. The widow stated that R.J. Reynolds was negligent in not informing him that nicotine is addictive and smoking can cause lung cancer. The lawyer for the plaintiff’s said that because of the juror’s age, he had to shoe how the tobacco industry presented its product before the public awareness campaigns on tobacco risks and dangers in the 1990′s. HUH? Robinson’s attorneys, Christopher Chestnut also went on to say, “The jury wanted to send a statement that tobacco cannot continue to lie to the American people and the American government about the addictiveness of and the deadly chemicals in their cigarettes.” HUH?

Smoking_Surgeon_Generals_warning_cigarettes

A Florida jury awarded a widow $23.6 billion in punitive damages in her lawsuit against tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, her lawyer said.

Cynthia Robinson claimed that smoking killed her husband, Michael Johnson, in 1996. She argued R.J. Reynolds was negligent in not informing him that nicotine is addictive and smoking can cause lung cancer. Johnson started smoking when he was 13 and died of lung cancer when he was 36.

The jury award Friday evening is “courageous,” said Robinson’s lawyer, Christopher Chestnut.

“If anyone saw the documents that this jury saw, I believe that person would have awarded a similar or greater verdict amount,” he said.

The Escambia County trial took four weeks and the jury deliberated for 15 hours, according to the Pensacola News Journal. The verdict included more than $16 million in compensatory damages, the newspaper said.

Chestnut said five of the six jurors who heard the case were 45 or younger, which meant he had to show them how the tobacco industry presented its product before the public awareness campaigns on tobacco risks and dangers in the 1990s, he said.

Okay, let’s do the math for the obviously challenged Florida jury. I guess this one might be as clueless as the Florida jury that deliberated in the Casey Anthony murder case. For 50 years we have been warned that smoking is hazardous to our health, where was Michael Johnson during that time?

FIRST … WHO DOES NOT KNOW THAT CIGARETTES ARE HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH AND CAUSE LUNG CANCER?

United States was the first nation to require a health warning on cigarette packages.

Now for the numbers.

  1. Michael Johnson died in 1996 at the age of 36 from lung cancer.
  2. This means the deceased would have been born in 1960.
  3. Johnson would have begun smoking in 1973 as the story above states he began smoking at the age of 13.
  4. WHAT PARENT ALLOWS THEIR CHILD TO SMOKE AT THE AGE OF 13?
  5. All 50 states bad laws banning sales to minors by 1950. The most common age of restriction for cigarettes and tobacco products today applies to persons under the age of 18. In an effort to ensure stricter enforcement 11 states have lowered the age of restriction from 21 to 15 (Tobacco Merchants Association, 1971: 1-2).
  6. The smoking age was 18 meaning for 5 years the decease was breaking the law and smoking as a minor. Who’s fault was that?
  7. In 2006 Florida state Supreme Court tossed out a $145 billion class-action verdict. That ruling also said smokers and their families need only prove addiction and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths.
  8. In 2008 on behalf of her late husband, Michael Johnson Sr.
  9. 2014 a Florida jury awards $23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.

Smoking_Surgeon_Generals_warning_cigarettes_1965

Now for some more relevant numbers.

  • On June 12, 1957, Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney declared it the official position of the U.S. Public Health Service that the evidence pointed to a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer.
  • The 1964 report on smoking and health had an impact on public attitudes and policy. A Gallup Survey conducted in 1958 found that only 44 percent of Americans believed smoking caused cancer, while 78 percent believed so by 1968. In the course of a decade, it had become common knowledge that smoking damaged health, and mounting evidence of health risks gave Terry’s 1964 report public resonance.
  • The Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965 (Public Law 89–92) required that the warning “Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health” be placed in small print on one of the side panels of each cigarette package. The act prohibited additional labeling requirements at the federal, state, or local levels.
  • In June 1967 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its first report to Congress recommending that the warning label be changed to “Warning: Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Health and May Cause Death from Cancer and Other Diseases.”
  • In 1969 Congress passed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act (Public Law 91–222), which prohibited cigarette advertising on television and radio and required that each cigarette package contain the label “Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health.”
  • In 1981 Congress enacted the Comprehensive Smoking Education Act of 1984 (Public Law 98–474), which required four specific health warnings on all cigarette packages and advertisements:SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy.
        SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health.
        SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking by Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, and Low Birth Weight.
        SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide.

I am of the belief that if cigarette tobacco is so bad, then make them illegal to use. Otherwise, it is just a way of the local, state and federal government making tax money off of lung cancer. It is an individual’s choice to smoke. Sorry folks, unless you were born prior to 1965 or your terminal lung cancer occurred prior to then, you have no one to blame but yourself. For nearly 50 years there have been warning labels on cigarette packages.

EXACTLY HOW MANY WARNINGS DOES ONE NEED BEFORE THEY REALIZE THAT SOMETHING IS HAZARDOUS TO THEIR HEALTH?

Daily Commentary – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – Can A Blood Test Predict if a Man Will Get Cancer?

  • According to the Times UK, men with a defect in their white blood cells are four times more likely to get cancer. A simple blood test can tell which have the defect

Daily Commentary – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 Download

Daily Commentary – Friday, March 28, 2014 – Homeland Star James Rebhorn Wrote His Own Obituary

  • Dying of melanoma, his obituary focuses on his family and the support he received from others throughout his acting career

Daily Commentary – Friday, March 28, 2014 Download

Daily Commentary – Thursday, March 27, 2014 – 9yr Old Kamryn Renfro Temporarily Barred From School

  • The Colorado girl was barred for shaving her head in support of a friend undergoing cancer treatment

Daily Commentary – Thursday, March 27, 2014 Download

Actor James Rebhorn Who Appeared in “Independence Day”, “Scent of a Woman” & “Homeland” Dies at Age 65 of Melanoma … Rest in Peace

Character actor James Rebhorn dies far too young at age 65 …

Actor James Rebhorn, who appeared in dozens of popular movies like ‘Independence Day’, ‘Scent of a Woman’ and ‘Meet the Parents’, and television shows like Showtime hit “Homeland,” died on Friday at his home in South Orange, N.J. at the age of 65 from skin cancer. As reported at TMZ, Rebhorn’s wife Rebecca said that James Rebhorn was diagnosed with melanoma in 1992 and he had been getting treatments ever since. Rest in Peace.

James Rebhorn discusses the power of his Liberal Arts Education at Wittenberg University

Veteran character actor James Rebhorn, known for his roles in “Homeland,” “White Collar” and dozens of TV shows and films over a five-decade career, has died of melanoma, his wife, Rebecca Linn, said Sunday. Rebhorn died Friday at his home in South Orange, N.J., at the age of 65.

Able to perform in comedies or dramas, as well as on stage, TV or film, the Philadelphia native racked up an impressive list of credits, including playing the father of Claire Danes’ character on “Homeland.”

His film roles included such titles as “Silkwood,” “Shadows and Fog,” “Basic Instinct,” “My Cousin Vinny,” “Scent of a Woman,” “Carlito’s Way,” “Independence Day,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “The Game,” “Far From Heaven” and “Cold Mountain.” Recent film appearances included “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” “Sleepwalk With Me,” “Real Steel” and “The Box.”

Rebhorn was a character actor for five decades in New York and Hollywood. You may not know the name, but you certainly will recognize James Rebhorn when you see his face. My favorite roles of James Rebhorn were of him as Headmaster Trask of the Baird School in ‘Scent of a Woman’, George Wilbur, the expert witness in the area of tire tread identification and automobiles, in ‘My Cousin Vinny’ and Defense Sec. Albert Nimziki from ‘Independence Day’.

WAPO – Obituary: James Rebhorn, character actor, dies at 65.

James Rebhorn, one of the busiest character actors in New York and Hollywood who specialized in flawed, authority figures, including the bipolar father of a CIA agent in the HBO series “Homeland,” died March 21 at his home in South Orange, N.J. He was 65.

On television, Mr. Rebhorn had a recurring part on the HBO show “White Collar” (2009-2014) and, playing a district attorney, memorably prosecuted the “Seinfeld” cast on that series’ 1998 finale.

Rebhorn’s movie roles, though small, were often pivotal to the plot. In“The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999), he played the wealthy shipbuilder whose spoiled son (Jude Law) disappeared, killed by sociopath Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) who has taken the son’s identity. As the headmaster Mr. Trask in “Scent of a Woman” (1992), he faced off against a blind and argumentative Vietnam vet Al Pacino defending one of Trask’s students accused of cheating.

Daily Commentary – Tuesday, February 18, 2014 – Long Time NBC Broadcaster Tom Brokaw Diagnosed with Cancer

  • He has multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood, which is incurable but treatable

Daily Commentary – Tuesday, February 18, 2014 Download

Posted February 18, 2014 by
Cancer, Healthcare, Main, NBC | no comments

Daily Commentary – Monday, December 9, 2013 – Reality TV Star Jen Arnold, Star of “The Little Couple” Battling Cancer

  • She it battling a rare form of cancer she vows she’s going to fight! She feels her prognosis is good

Daily Commentary – Monday, December 9, 2013 Download

No You Can’t Keep Your Insurance or Your Doctor If You Like Them … Another Obamacare Loser, Stage-4 Gallbladder Cancer Victim Edie Littlefield Sunby (WH Turns to Twitter Smear Campaign)

Add  Edie Littlefield Sunby to the list of losers of Obamacare … Barack Obama knowingly lied and people will die.

Over and over and over, Barack Obama made the following  promise to the American people to get Obamacare passed: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period! If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. period!  No one will take it away, no matter what.”

Really, you might want to read the tragic and heart-breaking story of Edie Littlefield Sunby, a state-4 gallbladder cancer patient who has become a victim of Obamacare and the lies that were spewed to pass the failed law. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, thanks to Obamacare Edie Littlefield Sunby will lose her healthcare insurance and her doctors. Lies have consequences, especially when Obama and Democrats knew that millions would lose their insurance because of Obamacare. Thanks Democrats as you own this one 100% as the not-so affordable care act was passed with not one GOP vote.

Obama_dr3

Everyone now is clamoring about Affordable Care Act winners and losers. I am one of the losers.

My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.

My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits.

Countless hours searching for non-exchange plans have uncovered nothing that compares well with my existing coverage. But the greatest source of frustration is Covered California, the state’s Affordable Care Act health-insurance exchange and, by some reports, one of the best such exchanges in the country. After four weeks of researching plans on the website, talking directly to government exchange counselors, insurance companies and medical providers, my insurance broker and I are as confused as ever. Time is running out and we still don’t have a clue how to best proceed.

[...]

What happened to the president’s promise, “You can keep your health plan”? Or to the promise that “You can keep your doctor”? Thanks to the law, I have been forced to give up a world-class health plan. The exchange would force me to give up a world-class physician.

For a cancer patient, medical coverage is a matter of life and death. Take away people’s ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that’s a highly effective way to control medical costs. Perhaps that’s the point.

Yup, no death panels here, eh? WAKE UP AMERICA … Obamacare has never been about healthcare, it is about controlling your lives from birth to death.

Hmm, I guess Obama was correct when he told his peeps that he was “really good at killing people.”

UPDATE I … TWITCHY: Despicable, White House smears stage 4 cancer survivor who lost her insurance plan due to Obamacare.

This White House has no conscience. A smear campaign against a cancer patient in order to protect the diasaster that is Obamacare where Obama and Democrats knowingly lied to the American people that they could keep their healthcare insurance if they liked it, PERIOD! Sick, just frigging sick!

Tweet_WHsmears cancer pt

 

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) Asked “But If You Wanted to Help One Child With Cancer, Why Wouldn’t You Do It?” His Response, “Why Would We Want To Do That”

What ever happened to Democrats were for the Children? Democrat Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democrats let America know just how little they care about children with cancer …

Just how little do Democrats care more about playing politics than they do actually caring about the children with cancer of “We the People,” one needs to look no further than the video below of Harry Reid being asked by a CNN reporter. Reid was asked, “but if you wanted to help one child with cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?” The reporter was referring to the fact that the GOP controlled House was passing a bill to add funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH), national parks and veterans.

Harry Reid’s response … “WHY WOULD WE WANT TO DO THAT”.

Isn’t that special. So we can now see just how little Obamacare really is about patient care and more about control. If Democrats really cared about the well being of individuals, they would pass a piecemeal bill that would include aiding cancer children. But no, instead they would rather play hard ball politics and defend Obamacare, a health care law that a majority of Americans do not want and most want it repealed. But Democrats would rather protect Obamacare at all cost than help children with cancer. Hmm, and I thought Democrats were supposed to be compassionate?

Long Time Movie Critic Roger Ebert Dead at 70 after Battle with Cancer … RIP

Roger Ebert, the long time movie critic has died at the age of 70 after his battle with cancer. Ebert had previously battled cancer in his thyroid and salivary glands, losing the ability to speak and eat on his own. Ebert co-hosted the weekly TV series ‘At the Movies’ with Gene Siskel, his fellow Chicago based movie critic, who himself had passed away in 1999. The man was brilliant in the critique of movies and I can remember watching ‘At the Movies’ all of the time to hear both Siskel and Ebert’s opinions and critiques. However, as much as he was knowledgeable about movies, his liberal politics was quite something different. But that is another story for another day. As stated at Ann Althouse,  on Tuesday, Mr. Ebert blogged that he had suffered a recurrence of cancer following a hip fracture suffered in December, and would be taking ‘a leave of presence.’ Who would have known that is all would have ended so quickly?

To both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, thank you both for your fine movie critiques over the years and we will see you both, ‘At the Movies’.

Roger Ebert: June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013, RIP

For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers.

“No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”

Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago.

“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away,” said his wife, Chaz Ebert. “No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.”

Siskel & Ebert on Film Criticism and Political Correctness

GENE SISKEL: You have to summon up the courage to say what you honestly feel. And it’s not easy. There’s a whole new world called political correctness that’s going on, and that is death to a critic to participate in that.

EBERT: Political correctness is the fascism of the ‘90s. It’s kind of this rigid feeling that you have to keep your ideas and your ways of looking at things within very narrow boundaries, or you’ll offend someone. Certainly one of the purposes of journalism is to challenge just that kind of thinking. And certainly one of the purposes of criticism is to break boundaries; it’s also one of the purposes of art. So that if a young journalist, 18, 19, 20, 21, an undergraduate tries to write politically correctly, what they’re really doing is ventriloquism.

NY Times Obit

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