Willie Evans Executor for Marie R. Evans
v  Lorillard

Suffolk Superior Court
Judge Paul E. Troy, Judge Linda Giles

Filed 2004

Verdict for the Plaintiff

This was a conventional product liability case, but it focused on Lorillard’s practice of handing out free samples to minors.

Plaintiff attorneys: Rebecca McIntyre, Michael D. Weisman of Weisman and McIntyre
Defendant attorneys: Andrew J. McElaney, Walter Cofer for Lorillard


  • 2004 – Case filed
  • 2007 – February 8: Judge rejects motion to dismiss
  • 2010 – December 16: Jury returns judgment for $35 million compensatory and $81 million punitive damages
  • 2011 – September 5: Superior Court upholds award
  • 2012 – November 25: Lorillard appeals to MA Supreme Judicial Court
  • 2013 – October 24: Lorillard settles: $79 million


The son of a woman who died of lung cancer is planning to sue the cigarette maker that gave her free samples when she was a girl, contending the giveaways were aimed at black children. The lawsuit against Lorillard Tobacco Co., maker of Newport cigarettes, is thought by legal experts to be the first to accuse a tobacco company of targeting black children. It is to be filed Monday in Suffolk Superior Court, The Boston Globe reported in its Saturday editions.
Marie Evans, in interviews with lawyers before she died in 2002 at age 54, said as a child she would get free sample packs of four to 10 Newport cigarettes from a company van that regularly came to the Boston housing project where she lived. Evans estimated she received free cigarettes 25 to 50 times – the first sample when she was 9 – and traded them for candy until she was 13, when she started smoking.
See SF Chronicle article