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    Trial Finds Tobacco Company 50 Percent At Fault

    Judge rules against Brown & Williamson and other defendants.

    LOUISVILLE, KY -- A jury returned a split decision against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and other defendants in an individual product liability lawsuit, filed by Gladys Frankson for injuries sustained by her husband Harry Frankson allegedly caused by smoking.

    In assigning fault, the jury said Mr. Frankson was 50 percent at fault and Brown & Williamson, along with other defendants, were 50 percent at fault. Frankson was awarded $350,000, which will be reduced by the 50 percent of fault allocated to her by the jury, according to the company. Punitive damages will be considered by the jury in the next several weeks.

    "Mr. Frankson, along with ordinary consumers in New York and elsewhere, knew and understood the risks of smoking," said Gareth Cooper, an attorney for Brown & Williamson. "Despite these known risks, Mr. Frankson chose not to quit smoking. We are obviously disappointed that the jury did not find Mr. Frankson fully accountable for his choice to start and continue smoking, but we have strong arguments for appeal and are confident that this decision will be reversed."

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