Jury delivers verdict in Charlotte County tobacco trial

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.- A man lost his lawsuit against two of the country’s largest tobacco manufacturers.

Donald McMannis, 82, sued Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company saying his wife Barbara’s addiction to cigarettes led to the cancer that killed her.

For the past two weeks, jurors heard testimony from doctors, addiction experts and family members.

Attorneys stressed the role cigarettes played for almost the entirety of Barbara’s life. Family says Barbara smoked all day long. They say she smoked first thing in the morning when she woke up.

The defendants believe her former job shows she wasn’t addicted. For years, Barbara worked in a factory where she packaged bottles, making her unable to smoke during this time. Their point is she controlled her habit and that it did not control her.

McMannis didn’t want to answer any questions after the verdict was delivered but his attorney says they plan to appeal Thursday’s decision.