Jury Selection Begins in Massachusetts Tobacco Death Trial

Jury Selection Begins in Massachusetts Tobacco Death TrialJury selection recently began for a wrongful death trial filed by a woman whose husband died of lung cancer against tobacco company Philip Morris Inc.

Brenda L. Haglund claims that the company could have taken the nicotine out of the cigarettes that her husband smoked, which resulted in his death at the age of 51, reports the Worcester Telegram.

The trial, which stems from a lawsuit filed in 2001, will be heard in Worcester Superior Court. The news source reports that the trial will likely last about four weeks.

Philip Morris denies the allegations leveled against it in the lawsuit, claiming that the health risks of cigarettes were commonly known and that the technology that could have removed the nicotine from the cigarettes would still have left an amount of the addictive substance in the product.

Haglund's case had initially been dismissed but it was reinstated in 2006 after a state Supreme Judicial Court determined that the "personal choice" defense employed by the tobacco company could not be used.

In 2007, 158,683 people in the U.S. died of lung cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.