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Federal court upholds $28 million verdict against tobacco company

July 13, 2017 

STAMFORD (July 12, 2017) — A federal appeals court has upheld the $28 million verdict for a Connecticut woman who claimed she was harmed by smoking.

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the judgment against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for damages sustained by Barbara Izzarelli, formerly of Norwich, CT. The appeals court also remanded the case for a further award of punitive damages.

The case was the first smoker’s case to come to trial in Connecticut and was the first jury verdict ever returned against a tobacco company in New England history, according to Izzarelli’s lawyer, David Golub, of Stamford.

A federal court jury had awarded Ms. Izzarelli $7.9 million after a 14-day trial in Bridgeport federal court in May 2010 before U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill. Judge Underhill awarded punitive damages in the amount of $3.9 million and prejudgment interest increased the total judgment to more than $28 million.