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Marie Evans is pictured at age 9

Marie Evans is pictured at age 9

Boston — The family of Marie Evans has been awarded $71 million from Lorillard Inc, the parent company of Newport cigarettes, 8 years after she died from lung cancer at 54.

The Boston Globe reports:

The Suffolk Superior Court jury awarded compensatory damages of $50 million to the estate of Marie Evans and $21 million to her son, William Evans. A hearing on punitive damages in the lawsuit has been scheduled for Thursday. That could result in the total bill for the cigarette company rising even higher.

The case was the first to claim that Lorillard had decided to target minority communities with its samples of Newports, a menthol brand more popular among black communities.

The jury found that the cigarette company was negligent in passing out samples of cigarettes to people like Evans when she was just a child growing up in the Orchard Hill housing development in Boston’s Roxbury section, and in denying for years the health risks associated with cigarettes.

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