Opening statements in Putney v. R.J. Reynolds began today before Hon. Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Margot Putney, the decedent in this Engle-progeny tobacco trial, died in 1995. According to the plaintiff and Ms. Putney's treating oncologist, Ms. Putney died from oat-cell / small-cell lung cancer caused by smoking.
According to the defense, Ms. Putney died of thyroid cancer. The defense argued that Ms. Putney had neither symptoms of lung cancer, nor a mass in her lungs, and the metastasis suggested that the cancer probably started in the thyroid.