There are so many legitimate targets of outrage these days, it’s easy to lose track of one or two along the way.
(CBS/AP) The Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a cigarette maker’s appeal of a $79.5 million award to a smoker’s widow, likely signaling the end of a 10-year legal fight over the large payout.
In a one-sentence order, the court left in place a ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court in favor of Mayola Williams. The state court has repeatedly upheld a verdict against Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris USA in a fraud trial in 1999.
The judgment has grown to more than $145 million with interest.
Tobacco is a great business to be in, if you don’t mind making your money by causing your customers pain and disease.
I got into an argument once with a guy who claimed there were benefits to smoking. Years later I found out that was true. Apparently smoking reduces the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. (One half-sarcastic theory is that smokers are less likely to live long enough to get Alzheimer’s.)
At the time the guy’s argument was that smoking calms and focuses the mind. I replied that it might be a better idea to try all the stuff that calms and focuses a person’s mind and doesn’t also rot your body from the inside out.