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Jury Rejects Former Flight Attendant's Tobacco Claim

September 06, 2002|From Associated Press

MIAMI — A jury Thursday rejected a claim against four tobacco companies by a former flight attendant who blames her sinus problems on secondhand smoke in aircraft cabins.

The jury decided on-the-job exposure to smoke did not cause Suzette Janoff's health problems. The tobacco companies had argued that Janoff's illnesses were caused by preexisting conditions.

Janoff, who worked for American Airlines from 1983 to 1996, and her attorneys said they planned to file further motions with the judge.

The trial followed a 1997 settlement between four leading cigarette makers and flight attendants that created a $300-million foundation to study smoke-related illnesses. The settlement allowed individual trials on compensatory damages, but the plaintiffs cannot receive punitive damages.

Three earlier trials ended with a $5.5-million verdict, a decision favoring tobacco and a mistrial, respectively.

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