R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Hit with $23.6 Billion Verdict in Damages

Source: FRANCES ROBLES /New York Times MIAMI — A jury in northwestern Florida awarded a staggering $23 billion judgment late Friday against the country’s second-largest tobacco company for causing the death of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer at the age of 36. The company, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, promised a prompt appeal. Michael Johnson Sr. died in 1996 …