|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
CNN 20: Smoker's Family Awards $81 Million, March 30, 1999Aired March 30, 2000 - 1:47 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TOM WATKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A jury in Portland, Oregon, awarded $81 million to the family of Jessie Williams, a janitor who's three-pack a day Marlboro habit lasted 40 years. His family said Philip Morris implied and he believed that cigarettes were not harmful.
Two years ago, Williams died of lung cancer, but not before making a final wish.
MAYOLA WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF'S WIFE: He wanted to make the cigarette companies stop lying about the health problem of all the smokers. And I feel that this jury has agreed with his goals and I hope that the verdict will convince Philip Morris to stop telling lies about their product.
WATKINS: Philip Morris' attorney denies the company lied.
WALTER COFER, PHILIP MORRIS ATTORNEY: If you look at this verdict, it was not supported by the evidence. And we firmly believe it was a result of passion, prejudice, and some misapplication of Oregon law.
WATKINS: Last month, Philip Morris lost another big case, when a San Francisco jury awarded Patricia Henley $51 million after she was diagnosed with an inoperable lung cancer.
PATRICIA HENLEY, PLAINTIFF: Right from day one, we fought the biggest and the worst.
WATKINS: But the path to payoff can be long and uncertain. Philip Morris has appealed the Henley verdict and plans to appeal the Williams decision, too.
RAY THOMAS, PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: If they do what they've done in every other case, this fight is just beginning. We won the first round. If any of you who are here think it was anything other than the first round, and that this is something to be in great celebration about, you're wrong.
Tom Watkins, CNN.
(END VIDEOTAPE) TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.