American Scene

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Smoker wins $8 million verdict

NEW HAVEN — A Connecticut smoker who developed larynx cancer has won $8 million in a lawsuit against a tobacco company, the first such jury verdict in New England, her attorney said Thursday.

David Golub, attorney for Barbara Izzarelli of Norwich, said Thursday a federal jury in Bridgeport made the award late Wednesday against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. after a two-week trial. He said a judge will decide additional punitive damages next month, which could bring the award to $24 million.

David Howard, spokesman for R.J. Reynolds, said the company was disappointed and plans to appeal.

Ms. Izzarelli, who is 49 and smoked Salem cigarettes for more than 25 years, underwent surgery at 36 that resulted in the removal of her larynx. She must breathe through a hole in her throat, has no sense of smell and can only eat soft foods, Mr. Golub said.

ILLINOIS

Three indicted in $100 million scam

CHICAGO — Three men have been indicted on federal charges of conning people into buying more than $100 million in bogus software by convincing the victims that their computers were infected by malicious programs.

A federal grand jury in Chicago returned indictments Wednesday against James Reno, 26, of Amelia, Ohio, and Bjorn Daniel Sundin, 31, and Shaileshkumar Jain, 40.

Mr. Sundin is a Swedish citizen thought to live in Sweden. Mr. Jain is an American who authorities think is in Ukraine.

The indictment says Mr. Jain and Mr. Sundin sold pieces of bogus software through their company, Innovative Marketing Inc. Mr. Reno is accused of running call centers for Innovative Marketing.

MICHIGAN

Two protesters arrested at mine site

BIG BAY — A small group of protesters stayed put Thursday after being ordered to leave the entrance of a planned nickel and copper mine in the Upper Peninsula, near what an American Indian tribe considers sacred ground. Two people were arrested.

Police said one person was sitting on top of Eagle Rock, a 60-foot-high outcrop where members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community conduct religious pilgrimages. She remained there past the 9:30 a.m. deadline and was arrested, state police Sgt. J.M. Bruno said. One other person also was arrested.

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