The powerful cigarette industry reignited Florida’s tobacco wars Wednesday with a one-sentence bill that would strip away the right of thousands of Florida victims from collecting millions in damages….
But for Bob Wilcox, 49, a Miami-Dade police lieutenant in the homicide bureau, the bill is an “outrageous” attempt to shield an industry that deserves to be punished for lying to people like his father, Cleston Roy “Red” Wilcox, a Marine veteran who died of lung cancer at age 70. Wilcox’s 91-year-old mother won a $15.5 million judgment in September, but is expecting an appeal. She has been a widow since her husband’s death in 1994. The family first filed the lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco in 2007, and it took seven years to bring it to trial.
“I firmly believe they engaged in a practice of delay, delay, delay hoping my mother would die,” Wilcox told the Herald/Times. “I was lucky it was heard. How about all the other people who have passed away while their case has been delayed?”