*A Massachusetts jury has ruled the Lorillard Tobacco Co. tried to entice black children to become smokers by handing out free cigarettes and has awarded $71 million in compensatory damages to the estate and son of a woman who died of lung cancer.
The Suffolk Superior Court jury announced its verdict Tuesday after hearing weeks of testimony.
Willie Evans alleged Lorillard introduced his mother, Marie Evans, to smoking as a child in the late 1950s by giving her free Newport cigarettes at the Orchard Park housing project in Boston, where she lived. He said his mother smoked for more than 40 years before dying of lung cancer at age 54.
The jury awarded Marie Evans’ estate $50 million in compensatory damages and gave her son $21 million. A hearing on possible punitive damages is set for Thursday.
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