Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt. They took on Big Tobacco in the courtroom and won..
(photo credit: LAURA KELLY)
On July 14, 2000, after nearly a decade of legal proceedings – including two years of courtroom litigation – a Florida jury awarded the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Big Tobacco a staggering $145 billion in punitive damages, the highest verdict in history.While that figure was immediately appealed and would later be set aside, and while class members seeking compensation would be instructed to file separate lawsuits, the verdict was nonetheless a breakthrough in holding Big Tobacco accountable for diseases developed and health risks acquired through smoking. Additionally, the jury found that the companies had committed fraud and had conspired to hide evidence that their products were dangerous.