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R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Wins Flight Attendant Case in Florida.

A Miami jury found today that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and other cigarette manufacturers are not liable in the Tucker case, a secondhand smoke suit filed by Julia B. Tucker, a US Airways flight attendant.

Tucker is the fifth case of its type to go to trial since 2001. Juries ruled in favor of the tobacco industry in the Janoff and Fontana cases, and ruled against the industry in the French case. The Quiepo case ended in a mistrial in May 2002 and was subsequently dismissed.

"After hearing all the facts in this case, the six-member jury unanimously agreed that exposure to secondhand smoke is not a legal cause of chronic sinusitis," said Douglas J. Chumbley, Reynolds Tobacco's lead attorney in the case.

"In fact," he added, "credible evidence does not exist to show that secondhand smoke causes chronic sinusitis in nonsmokers, even at the highest levels likely to be encountered in real-world environments."

Ms. Tucker is a flight attendant who claimed to have suffered from chronic sinusitis as a result of her exposure to secondhand smoke in aircraft cabins from 1977 until the early 1990s, while working as a flight attendant for Piedmont Airlines (which later became US Airways).

The Tucker case is among approximately 2,800 suits filed by individuals seeking compensatory damages for injuries allegedly caused by occupational exposure to secondhand smoke as a flight attendant. These suits stem from the Broin class-action suit, which was settled in 1997.

Other defendants in the Tucker case included Philip Morris, Inc., Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Lorillard Tobacco Company and the American Tobacco Company.

(For more information about the Tucker and Broin cases, go to: http://www.rjrt.com/, Tobacco Issues, Litigation, Case Backgrounders, Tucker Backgrounder.)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT) is a wholly owned subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc. . R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States, manufacturing about one of every four cigarettes sold in the United States. Reynolds Tobacco's product line includes four of the nation's 10 best-selling cigarette brands: Camel, Winston, Salem and Doral. Reynolds Tobacco has been recognized by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." For more information about RJRT, visit the company's web site at www.rjrt.com.

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Contact: Ellen Matthews of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, +1-336-741-6694

Website: http://www.rjrt.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 4, 2002
Words:408
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