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?


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?


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.
  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.


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.


Are You Serious, Barack Obama Lectures on Budgeting, Obama Says … You Can Afford Obamacare If You Cut Out Cable & Cell Phones from Your Lives

El Ling Mentira: Hmm, I thought Obama’s ‘Affordable Healthcare Act’ was supposed to be affordable? Or as they say south of the border … asequible.

It would appear that even the Hispanics have problems with Obamacare. At a town hall-style meeting with the Spanish-language media, President Barack Obama had the audacity to actually arrogantly lecture others on budgeting properly in order to pay for his signature piece of legislation. What the hell would Obama know about budgeting? This from the president who has increased our federal debt more than any other one in history. When a consumer complained in a letter that he could not find affordable rates under Obamacare, Obama said smugly that maybe he has not prioritized health care.UNREAL!!!

“If you looked at their cable bill, their telephone, their cell phone bill, other things they are spending on. It may turn out that, it’s just they haven’t prioritized health care.”

The difference is Mr. President that it is their choice to own cable or a cell phone, not a federally mandated law to purchase a product or be be hit with a punitive tax for a service that one does not even purchase. As all can see from this Spanish-language town hall, even Hispanics loath Obamacare. Hint, hint GOP!!!

President Obama says Choose Between Cable, Phone or Health Care.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:

“If the President actually believes that a family earning less than $40,000 per year can afford nearly $4,000 in health insurance premiums, then he truly does not understand middle-income families. Americans do not need the President to tell them how to Budget their households. People are already cutting back on things like cable television and cell phones, just to compensate for an awful economy.This President promised he would deliver on affordable health care. Instead, premiums are up, out-of-pocket expenses are up, and overall cost of living is up. The President simply doesn’t get it. And his condescending attitude adds insult to injury.”

The Gateway Pundit reminds us of more of Obama’s lies to the American people regarding the cost of Obamacare. In the video below, Obama says that the cost of Obamacare will cost less than a cell phone. Now he tells people they have to prioritize and give up their cell phone to pay for Obamacare. What a joke. How would that political slogan have played prior to the 2012 presidential campaign … You can have Obamacare or your smart phone, not both … YOU DECIDE!

This man truly is ‘El Ling Mentira’.

Hmm, I Don’t Remember Obama Saying the Following … Obamacare Architect Zeke Emanuel Says, “If You Want to Pay More For An Insurance Company that Covers Your Doctor, You Can Do That”

Can you imagine how the 2012 Presidential election would have turned out if Barack Obama had told the truth and said, if you like your healthcare plan and doctor, you can pay more to keep them?

Barack Obama said to pass Obamacare and to get reelected, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it, PERIOD! Well, we all know that was a lie. Guess what else was a lie, keeping your doctor if you liked them and paying less. The latest misrepresentation coming to light has to do with individuals being able to keep their doctors. Obama stated, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” But of course that was another Obama lie.  Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel said on Fox News Sunday as he was dodging Chis Wallace’s questions to keeping one’s doctor, “the president never said that you were going to have unlimited choice of any doctor in the country that you want to go to.” Well, that was never the question.

It’s not that simple. In order to participate in health-insurance exchanges, insurers needed to find a way to tamp down the high costs of premiums. As a result, many will narrow their networks, shrinking the range of doctors that are available to patients under their plan, experts say.

“Many people are going to find out that the second part of the promise — that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor — just wasn’t true,” says Gail Wilensky, who directed the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs under President George H.W. Bush. Factcheck.org labeled the promise “misleading,” noting that while the law doesn’t contain provisions designed to force people to pick new doctors, a switch may be inevitable for some. “The President simply can’t make this promise to anyone,” the site wrote.

Unbelievable, the gall of these people that they are now passing Obamacare off as a choice. The government is forcing people to buy an insurance that they say is okay or face a tax (penalty) and that is a choice? Individuals were perfectly fine with the coverage and doctors they had, but the government as now made it a choice that Americans must pay more to keep the very choice that they already had. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!

The Weekly Standard:

The host, Chris Wallace: “President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Doesn’t that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan, you can keep your plan? Isn’t it a fact, sir, that a number, most, in fact, of the Obamacare health plans that are being offered on the exchanges exclude a number of doctors and hospitals to lower costs?”

Zeke Emanuel: “The president never said you were going to have unlimited choice of any doctor in the country you want to go to.”

Chris Wallace: “No. He asked a question. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Did he not say that, sir?”

Zeke Emanuel: “He didn’t say you could have unlimited choice.”

Chris Wallace: “It’s a simple yes or no question. Did he say if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?”

Zeke Emanuel: “Yes. But look, if you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that. This is a matter of choice. We know in all sorts of places you pay more for certain — for a wider range of choices or wider range of benefits.The issue isn’t the selective networks. People keep saying, Oh, the problem is you’re going to have a selective network–”

Chris Wallace: “Well, if you lose your doctor or lose your hospital–”

Zeke Emanuel: “Let me just say something,” said Emanuel. “People are going to have a choice as to whether they want to pay a certain amount for a selective network or pay more for a broader network.”

Chris Wallace: “Which will mean your premiums will probably go up.”

Zeke Emanuel”They get that choice. That’s a choice they always made.”

Chris Wallace: “Which means your premium may go up over what you were paying so that, in other words –

AP-GfK Poll: What a Sad Commentary of Today’s Society, Two-Thirds Say People Can’t Be Trusted … #You Lie

When did “Trust” become a 4-letter word … Who will be the role models?

As the AP article says, ‘In God we trust, maybe, but not each other’. How sad. What a sad commentary on where our society has gone where Americans don’t trust each other anymore. It is one thing to have blind trust and rose colored glasses, it is quite another to have trust be remain skeptical and always question. However, the trust trends, or lack thereof have rose dramatically in the last 40 years. I think it is no surprise that it would be based on the Watergate years. But what has changed in that respect where people would think at the very least that their President could set the image of trust. But that is certainly not the case today as Americans found out that Barack Obama was lying when he told “We the People” that if you liked your healthcare plan, you could keep your healthcare plan, PERIOD! That coupled with all to many scandals like IRS-gate, AP-gate, Fast & Furious, Benghazi-gate, NSA-gate, Rosen-gate, etc. How could people really trust when they see all of these lies going on around them?

But it is larger than just politics. We need something to reverse the trend so that individuals want to trust others.


These days, only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted. Half felt that way in 1972, when the General Social Survey first asked the question.

Forty years later, a record high of nearly two-thirds say “you can’t be too careful” in dealing with people.

An AP-GfK poll conducted last month found that Americans are suspicious of each other in everyday encounters. Less than one-third expressed a lot of trust in clerks who swipe their credit cards, drivers on the road, or people they meet when traveling.

“I’m leery of everybody,” said Bart Murawski, 27, of Albany, N.Y. “Caution is always a factor.”

Does it matter that Americans are suspicious of one another? Yes, say worried political and social scientists.

What’s known as “social trust” brings good things.

A society where it’s easier to compromise or make a deal. Where people are willing to work with those who are different from them for the common good. Where trust appears to promote economic growth.

Trust has to be earned, it does not grow on trees. And once trust is broken, it takes years, sometimes forever to repair. So, is it too late to reverse this trend? Some say that it is. Is it possible to go back to a simpler time and instill not only trust, but values in people to act accordingly? The question really is, who will step up and play the adult to make “TRUST” a valued principle?

In fact, some studies suggest it’s too late for most Americans alive today to become more trusting. That research says the basis for a person’s lifetime trust levels is set by his or her mid-twenties and unlikely to change, other than in some unifying crucible such as a world war.

People do get a little more trusting as they age. But beginning with the baby boomers, each generation has started off adulthood less trusting than those who came before them.

The best hope for creating a more trusting nation may be figuring out how to inspire today’s youth, perhaps united by their high-tech gadgets, to trust the way previous generations did in simpler times.

There are still trusters around to set an example.

Mississippi Passes ‘Anti-Bloomberg Bill,’ Banning Limits on Portion Sizes & Posting of Calorie Counts Requirements … Well, I hope [Mayor Bloomberg] will remember, A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow … “


Mississippi lawmakers have overwhelmingly passed a bill  called the  ”anti-Bloomberg bill.” The bill does just the opposite from what the liberal mayor of NYC has inflicted upon the Big Apple. The “anti-Bloomberg bill” would ban communities from requiring restaurants to post calorie counts on menus or limit portion sizes. It is not up to the government to tell an individual what to eat or drink or to prevent one from doing to. Is it smart to eat healthy and use some common sense on what one eats, yes. However, it is about personal choice and personal responsibility.

Lawmakers in Mississippi — the most obese state in the nation — have overwhelmingly approved what they’re calling the “anti-Bloomberg bill.”

It would ban communities from requiring restaurants to post calorie counts on menus or limit portion sizes, as Mayor Bloomberg tried to do with his proposed ban on large sodas.  Also forbidden: any local rule banning toys from being distributed with kids’ meals.

The governor is expected to sign it.

When asked about the law, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was highly critical of the bill and called it a farce. Guess what Mayor Bloomberg, no one cares what you think in Mississippi. It may not quite be Lynyrd Skynyrd’s  ’Sweet Home Alabama,’ but Mississippi is singing, “Well, I hope [Mayor Bloomberg] will remember, A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow … 

Mr. Bloomberg was highly critical of the legislation when he was asked about the bill this morning in an interview on CBS.

“You know, Saturday Night Live couldn’t write this stuff,” Mr. Bloomberg exclaimed. “How can somebody try and pass a law that deliberately says we can’t improve the lives of our citizens? It’s just farce. Nobody would believe it if you wrote it in the book.”

Mr. Bloomberg proceeded to tout his efforts to improve public health.

How do we say this politely? Mayor Bloomberg, it’s none of your F’n business what people are eating. Especially in Mississippi. It is not your place to tell some one what they can and cannot eat. Worry about your 80% illiteracy reading rate for high school graduates in NCY. THAT IS YOUR JOB! Personal responsibility and personal choice is not.


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