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Jury weighs smoking lawsuit against Philip Morris (Reuters Securities)A jury in Los Angeles was weighing a lawsuit on Wednesday against Philip Morris Co. by a 56-year-old man with cancer who claims he smoked for 40 years because he believed big tobacco firms when they said cigarettes were not dangerous.- May 23 3:29 PM ET


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Website: http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/010523/n23434601.html

Posted on: 05/23/2001

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Wednesday May 23, 3:29 pm Eastern Time

Jury weighs smoking lawsuit against Philip Morris

LOS ANGELES, May 23 (Reuters) - A jury in Los Angeles was weighing a lawsuit on Wednesday against Philip Morris Co. by a 56-year-old man with cancer who claims he smoked for 40 years because he believed big tobacco firms when they said cigarettes were not dangerous.

Richard Boeken is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in his Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Philip Morris (NYSE:MO - news) for fraud, conspiracy and negligence.

Boeken, who suffers from brain and lung cancer, claimed at trial that he started smoking Marlboro cigarettes at the age of 13 and never became aware of health warnings until the mid-1990s.

Boeken was diagnosed in 1999 with lung cancer, which later spread to his spine. Last year he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Lawyers for Philip Morris told the jury that Boeken -- whose case is the first smoking and health lawsuit to reach trial in Los Angeles County -- chose to smoke and said it was impossible to believe that he had not heard of health warnings about cigarettes.

Jurors began deliberating in the case on Monday.

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