RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company is being sued by an individual claiming she developed mesothelioma because the company's cigarettes in the 1950s contained asbestos. | Shutterstock

ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) - A tobacco company secretly included asbestos in one of its cigarette brands in the 1950s and caused a woman's mesothelioma, her lawsuit says.

Katherine S. Jones filed the lawsuit July 9 in U.S. District Court in Missouri against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Hollingsworth & Vose Co., claiming the Kent brand of cigarettes gave her mesothelioma from the asbestos in the filter.

The cigarettes were manufactured between 1952 and 1957. The lawsuit claims the asbestos was included in the Micronite filter in the cigarette. Lorillard Tobacco Co., the name of the company at the time the cigarettes were made, advertised the filter as a “health protection” to smokers.

The suit further claims the company knew about the health risks that asbestos carried, but didn't tell customers.

“Lorillard was during this time period engaged in a fraudulent conspiracy to cover-up the health effects of smoking which included..publicly stating that no harmful ingredient had been identified in cigarette smoke,” the lawsuit said.

Jones is seeking more than $10 million for compensatory damages, $100 million in punitive damages, plus court costs in the lawsuit.

She is represented by Dawn M. Besserman of Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd LLC in St. Louis.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri case number 4:15-cv-01062.

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