“My breathing is difficult, when I do any work on the house,” the state-deposition. “If I mop the floor, if I sweep, vacuum if I, if I will go down. Changing the sheets on my bed I get really out of breath. I stopped doing a lot of things I used to do.” In a recent deposition, Rizzuto said he continues to suffer from a “severe” COPD.
Rizzuto also said that he uses a variety of inhalers for his condition, as well as spray 2:58 every day. Even if he no longer smokes, Rizzuto said that he is still addicted to cigarettes, according to court documents, and thinks about smoking “a few times a week.”
“In the morning, after coffee, when I always smoked, the thought comes, thank God; I did not give in to the idea. And I hope I never do again, to be honest,” said Rizzuto.
Jury selection continued Tuesday, with Rizzuto’s lawyer, Brent Bigger, questioning potential jurors for most of the day.
Turning to the jury questionnaire, Large asked specific jurors if they smoked or if they had smoked in the past. Common questions included if they considered members of the family have died from smoking.
Several jurors said they started smoking at 20, 30 or 40 years. More often, however, the jurors said they caught fire in the early teens, one as young as eight years old.
Perhaps the smoker with the longest record in the room was an electronic cigarette seller who said he smoked on and off for 50 years.
Daily smokers admitted they tried to quit smoking in the past, but ate too much, others said they enjoy smoking and could not see myself not to. Some have said that they are addicted to cigarettes; others said they could leave if they wanted to.
Several jurors were dismissed after saying they did not agree with the decision, which provides individuals can sue tobacco companies for damages. One juror said she thought it was “stupid” to be able to sue the tobacco company, comparing it with the idea of suing the fast-food company, if you spill hot coffee on yourself.
When asked how many people would like to sit on the jury, about 27 raised their hands.
After a day and a half of questioning Rizzuto’s lawyer, attorney William Geraghty, who represents Philip Morris, began questioning potential jurors.
Geraghty asked jurors who said they smoked or smoked, if the tobacco companies had made them do it, and used a similar analogy to social drinkers in the group, asking if a woman vodka company ever made her drink.
Jury selection will continue on Wednesday. The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.