Philip Morris says it prevails in Alaska lawsuit

ANCHORAGE — A cigarette maker says a jury in Bethel has returned a unanimous verdict in its favor in a smoking death lawsuit.

Philip Morris USA announced in a release that the jury verdict came Wednesday.

Delores Hunter of Marshall accused Philip Morris USA Inc. of making and marketing cigarettes even though they knew the products were addictive and caused cancer. She was the common law wife of Benjamin Francis. The complaint, which sought more than $100,000, said he died in 2006 of lung cancer.

Her lawyers didn’t immediately return phone calls, and there was no listing for her.

Murray Garnick, of Philip Morris’s parent company Altria Group Inc., says the jury determined the cigarettes weren’t defective, and Francis was “responsible for his own smoking decisions.”


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