. .

Invest in your success.
JVRA helps lawyers win cases by providing critical information you can use to establish precedent, determine demand and win arguments.


Tobacco liability - The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to properly warn about the dangers of tobacco use which resulted in death of decedent from lung cancer.

U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington

The plaintiff sought to hold the defendant responsible for the death of his spouse from lung cancer that resulted from her use of the defendant’s cigarettes. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to properly warn consumers of the danger of cigarette smoking. The defendant alleged that the plaintiff’s claims are preempted by federal law and maintained a defense of assumption of risk.

The plaintiff, the spouse of the deceased Carla Kimball, brought suit against the defendant, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company alleging that the defendant was responsible on theories of product liability and negligence for his wife’s death. The decedent died from lung cancer caused by smoking cigarettes. The deceased smoked Winston and Winston Lights 100s cigarettes, which were manufactured by the defendant. The decedent began smoking in the 1960s quit smoking in ________. The decedent was diagnosed with lung cancer in ________ and died on March 12, ________ at the age of 54.

The defendant denied the allegations and maintained that the plaintiff’s claims for negligence and product liability are pre- empted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. The defendant also contended that the defendant is not responsible for the plaintiff’s damages under the defense of assumption of risk. The defendant maintained that the plaintiff’s decedent was long aware of the potential health risks associated with smoking and chose to begin and continue smoking despite these well-known risks. The defendant alleged in response to the plaintiff’s product liability claims that there is no evidence present to suggest that there was a safer, more feasible alternative cigarette design to the one that the decedent consumed and that if any such design did exist, that it would have prevented the decedent’s cancer. The defendant also pointed out that the plaintiff’s spouse quit smoking ten years prior to being diagnosed with lung cancer and there is no causal relationship to prove the defendant’s liability.

At the conclusion of the ten-day trial, the jury deliberated for approximately 90 minutes before returning its verdict. The jury found in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff on his claims.

To read the full article, please login to your account or purchase

5 ways to win with JVRA

JVRA gives you jurisdiction-specific, year-round insight into the strategies, arguments and tactics that win. Successful attorneys come to the table prepared and use JVRA to:

  1. Determine if a case is winnable and recovery amounts.
  2. Determine reasonable demand for a case early on.
  3. Support a settlement demand by establishing precedent.
  4. Research trial strategies, tactics and arguments.
  5. Defeat or support post-trial motions through past case histories.

Try JVRA for a day or a month, or sign up for our deluxe Litigation Support Plan and put the intelligence of JVRA to work for all of your clients. See our subscription plans.