SJC splits decision in cigarette samples appeal - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

SJC splits decision in cigarette samples appeal

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BOSTON (AP) — The state's highest court says the family of a late Boston woman who got free cigarette samples as a child can keep $35 million in punitive damages awarded in a lawsuit against the tobacco company.

But justices Tuesday threw out an $81 million compensatory damages award against Lorillard Tobacco Co. and ordered a new trial on that issue.

The wrongful death suit was brought by the son of Marie Evans, who died of cancer in 2002 at age 54.

Her family said she became a regular smoker at about age 13 after repeatedly getting free Newport cigarettes at a playground.

The justices found jurors didn't get proper instructions on a wrongful death theory based on negligent design and marketing.

They also vacated the finding that Evans' death was caused by Lorillard's negligence.

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