A jury has awarded the family of a Foxboro woman $17.5 million after she died of lung cancer from smoking.

Pamela Coyne smoked cigarettes for 42 years, from the age of 12 until about a year before dying of cancer three years ago.

Coyne’s husband James convinced a Middlesex Superior Court jury this week that RJ Reynolds tobacco company should be held financially responsible for his wife’s death by marketing a product that was harmful to consumers.

The jury, on May 31, awarded punitive damages of $11.2 million, following an award of $6.3 million in compensatory damages, according to media reports on the case

Mark Gottlieb, executive director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, had filed the suit in 2016.

The Coynes also sued Philip Morris as Pamela Coyne had smoked Virginia Slims for the first three years she smoked, and that company reached a confidential settlement before trial, Gottlieb said.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

Recommended for you