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Pat McMahon

Thoroughly punished

Another court decision against U.S. tobacco companies brought by the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of the widow of a 36-year-old smoker.

The court found R.J. Reynolds guilty of producing and marketing a product that caused his addiction and his death. Now this is just one of the many such suits, but in this case, there is something slightly different than the rest -- the damages.

The widow had already been awarded $16.8 million in compensatory damages, but in addition to that, the Florida Supreme Court ruled the tobacco company must pay punitive damages amounting to $23.6 billion!

(Pause for effect.)

I said $23.6 billion!

Now, I wasn't a friend of the tobacco industry even back when I was younger, stupider and a smoker. Even though you and I both know that amount will never actually be awarded, why doesn't some government office determine that, as an addictive killer, tobacco should be banned? If not, how about if smokers take their mortality into their own arena of responsibility and stop expecting the big payoff, even from industries who lie and misrepresent?

The warnings are everywhere. Your family shouldn't get rich because you chose to ignore them.

I'm Pat McMahon.

About the Author

He's done it all -- and keeps doing it. His career in local Arizona radio and television dates back the late 60s. Pat always stimulates with his thought provoking, opinionated, and entertaining commentaries on the Arizona Morning News while hosting award-winning talkshows like "The McMahon Group" and "The God Show."

"The McMahon Group" features an unpredictable all-star panel where three people from the community get together and give their thoughts on the news of the week. He also hosts "The God Show" on Sunday's where he talks about all aspects of spirituality.

Pat is also well known outside of radio because of his multifaceted career as an actor, producer, recording artist, writer, broadcaster, and one-third of the legendary comedy team that was on TV for 35 years in Arizona, "The Wallace and Ladmo Show."

Through the many experiences of his professional life, Pat has been richly rewarded with 7 Emmys, major national and international radio awards as well as numerous civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards. Pat was also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University, the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime achievement Award, and has his bronze likeness hanging in the rotunda of the Herberger Theater in recognition of his contributions to Communications & The Arts.


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