Cynthia Robinson has been awarded one of the largest verdicts against a tobacco company. A Florida jury awarded Johnson $23.6 billion in punitive damages in her lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Robinson’s husband, Michael, died of lung cancer when he was 36, after chain-smoking since he was 13.

“First, I heard millions,” “I didn’t know it was “b” with-a-b-billions. I still can’t believe it.”

Birthdays, Christmas, Father’s Day, I still go and put flowers out on his grave.”

“They concealed information that was harmful to a human for years and still to this day have not admitted they were wrong,” Robinson told NBC news in an exclusive interview. She says she still puts flowers on her husband’s grave on birthdays, Christmas and Father’s Day. She says he would be proud.

“He would say, ‘We did it. We did it.’ The time has come and someone had to start somewhere and it started with me and Michael Johnson,” added Robinson.

R.J. Reyonds plans to appeal the verdict.

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  • Me

    from what i heard on other news sources, she was one of the original class action suits that came after the cig companies were forced to put labels on cartons in the 80s. the courts didn’t allow the class action to go forward, but once they deny a class action, it open the door for individual suits to be filed. so that’s what she did. tobacco got off big time by not having to face that class action. & i heard they’re filing whatever appeals talking about the courts overstepped w/the amout they awarded. so it’ll be a while before she sees any money.

  • Irnise Fennell

    The lack of appropriate warning signs and labels came after much litigation, although the companies had knowledge way before people started suing them. I can’t see her award standing up against an appeal, but you never know. They should have just settled out of court.