Large Tobacco Settlements of the Past | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 05.11.2003
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Large Tobacco Settlements of the Past

While the case against Reemtsma is the first in Germany, courts in the United States have been hearing suits against big tobacco for a few years now.

U.S. juries have awarded billions of dollars to sick smokers in the past. Most of the sums were reduced on appeal, however. Here's a list of some of the biggest settlements.

March/April 1999: Surviving family members of an Oregon chain smoker are awared $81 million (€70.6 million). A month later, a judge in San Francisco awards $26.5 million (€23.1 million) to an ex-smoker with cancer. Philip Morris was the defendant in both cases.

July 2000: A Miami jury orders tobacco companies to pay $145 billion (€126.4 billion) to 500,000 smokers in a class action lawsuit. It is the biggest award ever in a civil lawsuit so far. The tobacoo companies appeal the verdict.

March 2001: For the first time, a tobacco company pays compensation to a single sick smoker: A Florida man sick with lung cancer receives $1.1 million (€958,000). The man had sued the company charging it with distributing a "harmful product".

May 2001: Three U.S. tobacco firms agree to pay $700 million (€610.1 million) to the plaintiffs in the Miami trial.


October 2002: A Los Angeles jury awards $28.2 billion (€24.5 billion) to a 64-year-old smoker with lung cancer. A judge later reduces the award to $28 million (€24.4 million)

March 2003: An Illinois judge orders Philip Morris to pay $10.1 million (€8.8 million) because of false advertisement of so-called light cigarettes. A class action lawsuit had been filed by 1.1 million smokers.