Published: Apr 10, 2012 3:27 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida appellate court has rejected a $79.2 million verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. for a smoker's cancer death.
Monday's ruling in Tallahassee came in one of the thousands of smoker lawsuits against tobacco companies.
A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled the verdict was excessive. It instructed a Levy County trial judge to reduce the award or hold a new trial on damages.
The district judges affirmed that Reynolds was responsible for James Cayce Horner's death, but ruled the jury was improperly swayed by his daughter's unrelated hardships.
Dianne Webb sued Reynolds over her father's death, but the jury awarded twice as much as she had sought. The verdict included $72 million in punitive damages.

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