On March 28, 2019, an Orange County, Florida jury ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to pay the Estate of Lois Stucky sixteen million dollars ($16,000,000.00) in punitive damages. The case was prosecuted by attorneys from the Ogle Law Firm. Attorneys from the Wiggins, Childs, Pantazis firm and from the Law Offices of J.D. Lee also worked on the case. The recovery will be divided amongst each of the three surviving children of Lois Stucky. The jury also awarded an additional $100,000 per child in damages for the loss of their mother.
The jury determined that R.J. Reynolds cigarettes caused the lung cancer and death of Lois Stucky. The jury also found that the cigarettes designed, marketed, and sold by R.J. Reynolds were defective and unreasonably dangerous and that R.J. Reynolds’ conduct was deliberate or done with reckless disregard for the rights of Lois Stucky and her children.
Following the verdict, William Ogle, as lead counsel for the estate, commented that he believed that evidence of R.J. Reynolds marketing to underage teens was probably an important factor in the jury’s decision to award punitive damages. Ogle also stated that he believed that R.J. Reynolds argument that it was a changed company did not convince the jury.
The Ogle Law Firm represents a number of clients in cases against major cigarette companies and is now accepting new cases.