September 01, 2011 - Boston, MA
For more information contact: Joanne Thorud
(617) 589-3894; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Massachusetts Superior Court issued its decision in a pending Chapter 93A claim in the December 2010 watershed tobacco case Evans v. Lorillard, which rendered a $152 million verdict for the estate of Marie Evans, a woman who died of lung cancer in 2002. In this precedent-setting decision, the Court found that pursuant to the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, the Newport cigarettes that Lorillard manufactured and sold were unreasonably dangerous because they contained addictive levels of nicotine and carcinogens. The Court also found that despite knowing that Newport cigarettes were harmful to its consumers, Lorillard intentionally undertook a campaign of deceit and deception for decades to convince consumers that smoking was not dangerous in an effort to maintain sales. This campaign included marketing and giving free samples of cigarettes to children, like Marie Evans. As a result, the Court concluded that Lorillard’s deceptive actions took away Marie Evans’ free choice, which prevented her from quitting smoking and, ultimately, caused her lung cancer and death.
Davis Malm attorney Michael D. Weisman, counsel for Willie Evans, Marie Evans’ son, stated, “The Court, as the jury did in December 2010, saw that the overwhelming evidence in this case proved that Lorillard’s despicable actions, including giving Marie Evans cigarettes when she was a child, were gross violations of the law and duties owed to consumers like Marie.” Davis Malm attorneys Thomas Frisardi, Joshua S. Grossman, and Kendra Kinscherf are also counsel to Mr. Evans.
The court’s decision is historic in determining the gravity of Lorillard’s past and current behavior. The Court made the following significant findings, among others:
1. Lorillard has known since the 1950s that its products are lethal, fabricated a false debate as to the health effects of smoking; and
2. While safer alternative technology was available at reasonable cost, Lorillard intentionally declined to market a safe or even a safer cigarette.
3. Lorillard has, and continues to, target children and included menthol in its products to initiate, and ultimately addict, new smokers.
About Davis, Malm & D'Agostine, P.C.
Founded in 1979, Davis Malm is a premier mid-sized, full-service New England firm. The firm provides sophisticated, cost-effective legal representation to local, national, and international public and private businesses, institutions, and individuals in a wide spectrum of industries. The attorneys at the firm practice at the top level of the profession and deliver successful results to clients through direct partner involvement, responsive client service, and practical and creative problem solving.
The Court, as the jury did in December 2010, saw that the overwhelming evidence in this case proved that Lorillard's despicable actions, including giving Marie Evans cigarettes when she was a child, were gross violations of the law and duties owed to consumers like Marie.