The Times West Virginian

May 8, 2013

Trial set in W.Va. against tobacco makers

Associated Press

CHARLESTON — A mass litigation trial against the nation’s largest tobacco manufacturers will be decided in a Charleston courtroom.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin next week before Ohio County Senior Judge Arthur Recht in the cases filed on behalf of at least 700 plaintiffs who claim they were harmed by tobacco use.

The cases were filed against Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, American Tobacco Co., Brown and Williamson and Lorillard.

Recht says if the companies are found liable, different juries in future trials will determine whether damages should be awarded.

Some 8,000 Kanawha County residents were called for the jury pool. Six jurors and two alternates were chosen.

A mistrial was declared during a trial in Wheeling in 2011 and there was a failed attempt to seat a jury in Kanawha County.