A woman from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is suing the nation’s largest tobacco company. Delores Hunter of Marshall is suing on behalf of the estate of Benjamin Francis. Court documents say Hunter is Francis’ surviving common law wife. Francis died of lung cancer in 2004.
According to radio station KYUK, Hunter has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Philip Morris USA, Inc. and its parents company, Altria, and Alaska Commercial Co., which sells cigarettes.
The trial in the civil case is scheduled to begin this week in Bethel. Palmer Judge Eric Smith is presiding and is traveling to Bethel for the trial.
Philip Morris makes Marlboro and Virginia Slims cigarettes. The complaint says Francis smoked Marlboro cigarettes and the cigarettes were sold even though the companies knew they caused cancer.