A Miami circuit judge has upheld a landmark $145 billion punitive damages award against the tobacco industry at the same time that two tobacco companies are close to reaching a national settlement that would protect them against such awards. The $145 billion was awarded in July to Florida smokers in their a class-action lawsuit against the industry. Two tobacco companies, Lorillard Tobacco and Liggett Group, have tentatively reached an $8 billion agreement to settle all punitive damages claims against them. The money would be used for national health programs. NPR's Debbie Elliott has the story.
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