UPDATE 5/15/13 @ 2:50 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A jury has found that plaintiffs in a West Virginia mass litigation tobacco trial proved only one of six claims.
A Kanawha County jury on Wednesday found that the plaintiffs proved their claim that all ventilated filter cigarettes manufactured and sold between 1964 and 1969 were defective because of a failure to instruct.
Lead plaintiffs' attorney Kenneth McClain told the newspaper that the verdict is a victory because juries in tobacco cases rarely find the defendants at fault.
The cases were filed on behalf of about 700 plaintiffs against Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, American Tobacco Co., Brown and Williamson and Lorillard.
R.J. Reynolds attorney Jeff Furr called the verdict "virtually a complete defense victory."
The cases were filed on behalf of about 700 plaintiffs against Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, American Tobacco Co., Brown and Williamson and Lorillard. The plaintiffs claim they were harmed by tobacco use.
Media outlets report that jurors heard closing arguments on Tuesday.
Senior Status Judge Arthur Recht is presiding over the trial. If the companies are found liable, the cases would be broken down into smaller groups. Different juries in future trials would determine whether damages should be awarded.
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