Court upholds $28M verdict in Connecticut smoker case

A federal appeals court has upheld a $28 million judgment against cigarette maker R.J. Reynolds in a lawsuit filed by a Connecticut smoker who got cancer.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York also ruled Friday that the case will be sent back to the trial court to see if the company must pay additional damages.

Norwich resident Barbara Izzarelli sued the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company in 1999 after surviving laryngeal cancer. She smoked the company's Salem Kings cigarettes for 25 years and had her larynx removed at age 36.

R.J. Reynolds denied allegations in the lawsuit that it manipulated nicotine in Salem Kings to get nonsmokers addicted and smokers to smoke more.

Lawyers for the company did not immediately return messages Friday.