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?

Secretary of State John Kerry Caught on Hot Mic Comment About Israel … “It’s a Hell of a Pinpoint Operation”

Once again the Obama administration treats it’s allies with condemnation … Kerry was for saying it was an Israel hell of a pinpoint operation, before he was against it.

Secretary of State John Kerry was caught on a hot mic during this Sunday morning’s round robin of talk shows with some interesting and blunt remarks as a condemnation of Israeli tactics Kerry said on the open mic, . “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation” not once but twice.”The Washington Post’s reports:

Kerry’s comments are clear. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” he says, then repeats it. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.” It’s an apparent reference to Israel’s insistence that its incursion into the region would be limited. “It’s escalating significantly,” the person on the phone replies, and Kerry then says: “We’ve got to get over there. I think we ought to go tonight.” He then calls it “crazy” to be “sitting around.”

Sec. of State Kerry was asked by Chris Wallace on ‘Fox News Sunday’ what he meant by his comments. As reported at Powerline, In an unusual moment during Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace presented Secretary of State John Kerry with video recorded before he came on air and asked Kerry whether he thought that Israel went too far? Let the double talk begin.

“When you said it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Wallace asked, are you “upset that the Israelis are going too far?”

“It’s very difficult in these situations,” Kerry said, repeating that the United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself. He then explained his comments by saying, “I reacted, obviously, in a way that anybody does in respect to young children and civilians.”

Bodies Rained Down from the Sky on Ukraine Village After Malaysia MH17 Plane Shot Down by a Ground to Air Missile … And Obama Went to Fundraisers

Reuters reports that following the ground to air missile attack that blew Malaysia flight MH17 from the sky, bodies of innocent men, women and children rained down on the Ukraine village to the horror of the villagers below. Bodies of the victims of Flight MH17 fell on to people’s yards, on their homes and broke through their roofs. The terrible reality was that the sky was raining dead bodies, body parts and pieces of the missile targeted plane. This is what Barack Obama described the situation as, ‘Looks like it may be a tragedy’ just before he went off to two fundraiser in NYC following this terror attack and act of war against a civilian airplane. How does Obama justify fundraising and jokes to the images below in the truly disturbing video?

Even yesterday, bodies and debris scattered the countryside as the smell of death and jet fuel was in the air.

Warning: Extremely graphic

VIDEO – Vice News

First came the loud explosion that made buildings rattle: then it started raining bodies.

One of the corpses fell through the rickety roof of Irina Tipunova’s house in this sleepy village, just after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 exploded high over eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting government forces.

“There was a howling noise and everything started to rattle. Then objects started falling out of the sky,” the 65-year-old pensioner said in front of her grey-brick home.

“And then I heard a roar and she landed in the kitchen, the roof was broken,” she said, showing the gaping hole made by the body when it came through the ceiling of the kitchen in an extension to the house.

The dead woman’s naked body was still lying inside the house, next to a bed.

Another local resident in her 20s who refused to give her name said she ran outside after hearing the plane explode.

“I opened the door and I saw people falling. One fell in my vegetable patch,” she said.

UNBELIEVABLE … After 23 Americans Are Killed in Malaysia Flight MH17 Missile Terrorist Attack, Barack Obama Goes Fundraising in NYC … John McCain Says Obama Is AWOL on Ukraine

THERE IS A REASON WHY OBAMA IS CALLED THE “CAMPAIGNER” IN CHIEF …

Good grief, what is wrong with this president, has he no shame? After 23 Americans are believed to have been killed when Malaysia Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by a surface to air missile by Russian separatists over Ukraine airspace, Barack Obama attended two fundraisers in New York City. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! How detached could one individual possibly be when Americans civilians are killed by an act of war/terrorism and a sitting president just goes about his merry way and attends a fundraiser? Sorry, but there is something seriously wrong with Obama that anyone would think that it was okay to do so. All Americans should be sickened by his actions.

TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THE PICS OF THE DEATH AND CARNAGE AND COMPARE THAT TO OBAMA GOING OFF TO FUNDRAISERS AS IF NOTHING HAPPENED. SICK, JUST SICK!!!

Sen. John McCain appeared on Hannity last night and said,  “I don’t understand this president. The crisis on the border. He did the fundraisers, the fundraisers in New York while they’re major conflicts, not to mention the loss of American lives. It was reported there were Americans on the airplane. I do not understand it … This is just what we used to call in the military A-W-O-L.”

John McCain: Obama Is AWOL on Ukraine

Republicans are assailing President Obama’s decision to attend two fundraisers in New York City Thursday night after 295 people perished when a Malaysian passenger jet crashed in Ukraine after an apparent rocket attack and Israel launched a ground war in Gaza the same day.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus took to Twitter to launch a broadside against Obama for going through with the fundraisers benefiting House and Senate Democrats.

“With all that is going on, the last thing the President should be doing is fundraising right now. Now is a time for leadership,” Priebus tweeted.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was far harsher in his assessment.

“I don’t understand this president … this is what we used to call in the military A-W-O-L,” McCain told Fox News Thursday night. “… There’s a direct lost of American lives here and the president goes to a fundraiser? Help me out.”

Twenty-three Americans are believed to have died in the crash, although U.S. authorities have yet to confirm those numbers.

Barack Obama is no leader. If he had any respect for the United States of America, he would just step down from office for the sake of America. But that will never happen, because Obama is a “community agitator” and his every action is meant to divide and destroy the America that we knew. Sorry, but Obama would have gone fund raising on 9-12-2001.

Security Service of Ukraine Intercepts Phone Conversations of Russian Separatists Admitting Shooting Down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

An intercepted conversation released by the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) reportedly between Russian-backed militants nicknamed “Major” and “Greek” show admission of Russian militants  purposely shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Chornukhine, Luhansk Oblast. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the blame for the tragedy lies with Ukraine. The Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying nearly 300 people was  shot down near the Ukrainian border. An adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister has said 23 U.S. citizens were among the 298 killed.

Full transcript of an intercepted phone call below:

Igor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).

Vasili Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?

IB: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. Its smoking.

VG: How many minutes ago?

IB: About 30 minutes ago.

SBU comment: After examining the site of the plane the terrorists come to the conclusion that they have shot down a civilian plane. The next part of the conversation took place about 40 minutes later.

“Major”: These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.

“Grek”: Yes, Major.

“Major”: The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first “200” (code word for dead person). We have found the first “200”. A Civilian.

“Greek”: Well, what do you have there?

“Major”: In short, it was 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.

“Greek”: Are many people there?

“Major”: Holy sh__t! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).

“Greek”: What kind of aircraft?

“Major”: I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.

“Greek”: Is there anything left of the weapon?

“Major”: Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.

“Greek”: Are there documents?

“Major”: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.

Militant: Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez. It’s a civilian one. Fell down near Grabove. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this.

They say on TV it’s AN-26 transport plane, but they say it’s written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine’s territory?

Nikolay Kozitsin: That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be f…cking flying. There is a war going on.

Malaysia Airline Flight MH17 Crashes, 298 Passengers & Crew Dead, Including 23 Americans (Update: Missile Shoots Down Plane)

Malaysia Airline Fight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was traveling at an altitude of 33,000 feet when contact was lost. As reported at Sky News, the plane was said to be  brought down by a Buk ground-to-air missile.  The plane crash killing all 298 passengers and crew on board, including children. It is reported that there were 23 Americans listed on the flight manifest; however, there is yet to be confirmation. The victims abord Malaysia Flight MH 17 include nine Britons, the victims included 154 Dutch, 45 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos and one Canadian.

As pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government traded charges about who was behind the surface-to-air missile that downed a Malaysia Airlines jet with 298 aboard Thursday, Ukraine’s separatist rebels on Friday said they have found “most” of the plane’s recording devices.

The Boeing 777 bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot down Thursday afternoon at cruising altitude about 35 miles from the border, according to Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister.

Malaysia Airlines originally said there were 280 passengers and a crew of 15 aboard the flight, though it later upped the number of passengers to 283 to account for three infants.

The flight path of Malaysia Arline Flight MH17 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down and crashed in Ukraine can be seen at the Business Insider. Read the continual updates from The Guardian of the terrible events.

Malaysia Flight MH17

CNN – VIDEO

CNN – VIDEO

UPDATE I: U.S. official: Missile shot down Malaysia Airlines plane.

A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crashed in a rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine on Thursday, spurring swift accusations from Ukrainian officials that “terrorists” shot down the aircraft.

The United States has concluded a missile shot down the plane, but hasn’t pinpointed who was responsible, a senior U.S. official told CNN’s Barbara Starr.

The Boeing 777 with 298 people aboard fell from the sky near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, officials said. A top Ukrainian official said the plane, which was on the way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was flying at about 10,000 meters (nearly 33,000 feet) when the missile hit.

Al Qaeda Magazine Suggesting Target List for Attacks Including The US Tennis Open

 Who finds it a little bizarre that Al Qaeda has a magazine that would announce their terror intentions?

In a briefing for New York City’s private security community, Rebecca Weiner, the NYPD’s director of intelligence analysis, warned that Inspire magazine, Al Qaeda magazine, is instructing terrorists on how to make bombs and where to set them off. It would appear that the US Tennis Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY has made the list. Will Al Qaeda now start targeting sporting events where infidels are just having a good time and bothering no one? Was the Boston Marathon just the beginning?

US Open

Pic – US Open

The US Open Tennis Championship appears on a wish list of terror targets in an al Qaeda magazine, an NYPD official said Wednesday.

In a briefing for New York City’s private security community, Rebecca Weiner, the NYPD’s director of intelligence analysis, warned that Inspire magazine is instructing would-be terrorists on how to make bombs and where to set them off, WCBS 880?s Marla Diamond reported.

The magazine lists targets in Washington, D.C.; Virginia; and New York — including the US Open, which begins Aug. 25 in Flushing Meadows, Queens.

My persona belief is that contained sporting events like The US Open are less susceptible to attack because they are contained and easier to defend. One would think these cowards would attack more open events like a marathon that is really impossible to control.

I wonder if any of these would be Al Qaeda terrorists have come through that secure Southern border?

Charles Krauthammer on Harry Reid’s Secure Border Comment … “You’ve got to Wonder, Whether He’s really on his Medication or Not.”

Many legal American citizens have the same question …

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer mocked Democrat Senate Majority Lead Harry Reid yesterday on ‘Special Report’ with regarding to Reid’s comment that the Southern border was secure stating, When you hear Harry Reid saying the border is secure you’ve got to wonder, you know, whether he’s really on his medication or not.”

Well Harry, are you?

Krauthammer_Harry Reid Meds

Click HERE or on pic to watch VIDEO at RCP

Transcript from RCP:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: When you hear Harry Reid saying the border is secure you’ve got to wonder, you know, whether he’s really on his medication or not. I mean, that is so detached from reality. We just saw at the beginning of the show the report from John Roberts — you get how many we have now? 60,000 — at least — kids who come over. And we’re completely helpless. And it’s the helplessness that I think is driving the president and the Democrats to accept. What they want is for the Republicans to be the one who would propose the change in the law because it looks so cruel.

MARA LIASSON: They did.

KRAUTHAMMER: And so the Republicans have played their role in this kabuki. The president will reluctantly accept it even though he talked initially about proposing it but then he got heat from his left which said you can’t propose this. So it will work out. But the president has to have this stopped because it contributes to the story, showing all the other elements abroad and at home that his administration is incompetent, out of control and unable to control anything. And with this continuing he really can’t tolerate that, his numbers will not survive and the party will be roundly thrashed in November and that’s why he’ll acquiesce to the change in the law.

 

Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid Says the United States-Mexican “Border Is Secure”

File this one under, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!

Okay America, who are you going to believe, Baghdad Bob Harry Reid or your lying eyes? Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Tuesday that the southern border was secure. Seriously, as a humanitarian crisis occurs on the US-Mexican borders as illegals pour over the borders, Reid says “the border is secure”. What about this illegal child crisis that Democrats are looking to capitalize on, is that the sign of a secure border? How about those 50,000 unaccompanied youths and children who have illegally crossed the Texas border during the last few months? We have a porous southern border that is not just a humanitarian crisis, but a national security one and this lying Democrat leader says, don’t look here, there is nothing to worry about. UNREAL.

However, Reid says he is against the bi-partisan proposed Cornyn-Cuellar bill that would allow unaccompanied minors to make a claim for asylum in the United States before an immigration judge within seven days of receiving a screening from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Of course Reid is against any bill that would remedy the crisis, its all about politics.

VIDEO – Roll Call

The Hill - Reid: Southern border is secure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday asserted the southern border is secure despite the massive surge of illegal minors from Central America that has overwhelmed federal agencies.

“The border is secure,” he told reporters after the Senate Democrats’ weekly policy lunch. “[Sen.] Martin Heinrich [(D-N.M.)] talked to the caucus today. He’s a border state senator. He said he can say without any equivocation the border is secure.”

Reid said lawmakers need to worry less about border security and focus instead on President Obama’s $3.7 billion request to help process the tens of thousands of children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador who have been apprehended on the border.

Senator Dingy Harry is sounding an awful lot like Baghdad Bob did during the days of the War in Iraq when the US military was near the gates of Baghdad. Can anyone tell the difference between the two?

Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL) Shames Barack Obama For Not Visiting the Texas-Mexico Border … Is Like Not Visiting Sick Relative While Vacationing Nearby

Or playing golf for that matter … or pool

OUCH, even Democrats are calling out Barack Obama for the absurdity of the president going to Texas for fundraisers and not visiting the humanitarian crisis on the US-Mexican border that he created. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) shamed Obama on CNN’s Crossfire and compared the president not visiting the Texas border, while fund raising in Texas  to ignoring a sick relative in the hospital while vacationing nearby.

“I wish the President of the United States were going down and visiting the children and visiting the site tonight. I kind of think of, you know, if I were on vacation in Puerto Rico and my wife’s aunt was in the hospital and I didn’t go see her, I think her family would probably get together and probably say ‘You made a poor choice.’ It is important that he do that.”

Barack Obama, Too Busy to go to the US-Mexico border in Texas, but can play pool and yuck it up

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