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Lorillard Wins N.Y. Cigarette Suit

NEW YORK -- Lorillard Tobacco Co. says it has won an individual smoker trial with claims related to the asbestos in the original Kent filter and claims related to tobacco use, reported the Insurance Journal.

In a unanimous verdict, a Manhattan state court jury rejected plaintiffs' claims that Frank Gadaleta's lung cancer was caused by original Kent cigarettes, which were sold for four years in the 1950s, and also rejected claims that tobacco smoke from Kent cigarettes used by Gadaleta over several decades contributed to his disease.

Additionally, Gadaleta previously sued -- and settled with -- several asbestos producers, claiming that long-term occupational exposure to asbestos in the military and in the construction industry led to his lung cancer diagnosis in 2000.

"We are pleased with the jury's finding that Kent cigarettes are not responsible for the claimed injury," commented Ronald S. Milstein, Lorillard's vice president and general counsel. "The evidence overwhelmingly showed that the plaintiff's occupational exposure to asbestos and not his smoking caused his lung cancer," he added. "The plaintiff failed to prove that tobacco smoke was a factor in causing his injury, because he quit smoking many years before he developed lung cancer."

Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard has successfully defended 13 lawsuits involving claims of injury from original Kent cigarettes, and has successfully defended three individual smoking and health lawsuits that have been tried in the New York courts, the company reported.
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