Florida Judge Grants Mistrial In Latest Engle Progeny Tobacco Case

BRADENTON, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida judge granted a mistrial May 12 in an Engle progeny tobacco trial, two days after the cigarette company defendants questioned his actions in holding a private, off-the-record discussion with the jury after it had begun deliberations; it was not immediately...

11th Circuit: More Inquiry Into Engle Jury's Finding Needed

ATLANTA - (Mealey's) Florida federal courts presiding over Engle progeny cases must do more work to identify precisely what the Phase I trial findings of the Engle jury mean before deciding the extent to which they have res judicata effect in establishing elements of the individual plaintiffs'...

Florida Smoker's Widow Gets $2.2 Million In Compensatory Damages; Punitives To Follow

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida jury on Aug. 5 awarded $2.2 million in compensatory damages against a pair of tobacco companies to the widow of a smoker who died of small-cell lung cancer attributed to its products, finding that the smoker's addiction was the legal cause of his death...

Florida Smoker's Addiction Didn't Cause Disease, Death, Jury Finds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida jury found Oct. 4 that a pair of tobacco companies were not responsible for the disease and death of a longtime smoker, despite finding that she was addicted to cigarettes; the victory is one of only a handful for the tobacco industry since the Engle progeny...

Smoker Wasn't Addicted, Fla. Jury Finds In Awarding Verdict To Tobacco Companies

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jurors in a Florida circuit court on Oct. 6 capped a retrial in an Engle progeny case with a defense verdict, finding that the plaintiff was not addicted to smoking the defendant tobacco companies' cigarettes; the verdict extends a recent string of victories for the defendants...

Florida Jury: Philip Morris Not Negligent; Plaintiff Did Not Show Reliance

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- (Mealey's) A Florida circuit court jury handed Philip Morris USA its sixth straight victory in an Engle progeny case Nov. 12, finding that the plaintiffs did not show reliance on the part of the decedent or negligence on the part of the company ( Maria J. Espinosa v. Philip...

$30 Million Verdict In Engle Progeny Suit Survives Florida Appeal

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A $30 million verdict to the widow of a longtime smoker of Lucky Strikes, the largest post- Engle verdict when it was announced, was affirmed Dec. 14 in a Florida appeals court ( R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Matilde C. Martin , No. 1D09-4934, Fla. App., 1st Dist...

Florida Jury Awards $250,000 In Post-Engle Punitive Damages

TAMPA, Fla. -- After awarding $100,000 in compensatory damages to a longtime smoker who had his larynx and part of his tongue removed as a result of laryngeal cancer, a Florida jury on Feb. 11 added $250,000 in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a post- Engle case ( Leroy Kirkland...

Florida Jury Awards 2nd Post-Engle Smoker Verdict, $86,000

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- For the second time in a week, a Florida jury on Feb. 15 found for a post- Engle tobacco plaintiff but issued a relatively small award of compensatory damages ( Despinda Hatziyannakis, as Personal Representative of Christos Hatziyannakis v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al. , No...

Florida Court Reinstates Conspiracy/Concealment Claim Against 3 Tobacco Defendants

MIAMI - (Mealey's) A Florida state appeals court on Sept. 29 reversed summary judgment against a smoker's widow after finding that the state's Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc. (945 So. 2d 1246, 1277 [Fla. 2006]) case allows conspiracy/concealment claims against tobacco defendants even if the...

Florida Appeals Court Says 'Brand Usage' Not Required For Conspiracy Under Engle

MIAMI - (Mealey's) The landmark Florida tobacco case of Engle v. Liggett Group Inc. (945 So. 2d 1246 [Fla. 2006]) did not impose a "brand usage" requirement on claims for civil conspiracy and concealment but only on personal injury claims, a Florida appeals court ruled Nov. 30, reversing...

Florida Appeals Court Rules $40.8 Million Award Excessive In Tobacco Case

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida appeals court on Feb. 14 overturned a $40.8 million punitive damages verdict in a tobacco wrongful death case as excessive but let stand a $10.8 million award of compensatory damages, the highest so far in Florida tobacco litigation ( R.J. Reynolds Tobacco...

Jury Rules For Philip Morris In 1st Federal Post-Engle Trial

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida federal court jury found for the defense Feb. 16 in the first federal tobacco trial based on the Florida Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc. (945 So.2d 1246 [Fla. Sup. 2006], cert denied , 128 S.Ct. 96 [2007]), according to...

$1.9M Tobacco Verdict Reversed By Florida Appeals Court On Statute Of Limitations

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida state appeals court panel on Feb. 22 reversed a $1.9 million tobacco death judgment against Philip Morris USA Inc., saying that a jury's answer about when a deceased plaintiff knew about her injury meant that the plaintiff missed the state's four...

Florida Jury Awards Widow Of Smoker $25 Million In Punitive Damages

MIAMI - (Mealey's) A Florida jury on March 6 ordered cigarette maker Lorillard Inc. to pay the widow of a smoker $25 million in punitive damages, one week after the jury awarded her $16 million in compensatory damages ( Dorothy Alexander v. Lorillard Tobacco Co. , No. 07-46830-ca-10, Fla. Cir., 11th...

Florida Supreme Court Upholds $2.5 Million Verdict In Engle Tobacco Case

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (Mealey's) Florida's Supreme Court on March 14 affirmed, with one dissent, a trial court's application of its landmark decision in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc. (945 So. 2d 1246 [Fla. 2006]) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] in a $2.5 million verdict...

Florida Appeals Court Affirms $25 Million In Punitives In Tobacco Death Verdict

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) The Third District Florida Court of Appeal affirmed $25 million in punitive damages to the widow of a smoker Sept. 4, saying the award, which was in addition to $16 million in compensatory damages, was not unconstitutionally excessive ( Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Dorothy...

Liggett Announces $110 Million Settlement Of Florida Tobacco Litigation

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) The nation’s third largest tobacco manufacturer announced Oct. 23 that it will pay $110 million to settle thousands of Engle progeny tobacco litigation cases asserting death and injury in Florida state and federal courts. Vector Group Ltd. and subsidiary Liggett...

Mealey’s PI/Product Liability — Plaintiffs Outline Case In Florida Suit Alleging Smoking-Related Death

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) Trial got under way Aug. 8 before Judge John Murphy of the Florida 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County with the plaintiff’s opening statement in a suit by the family of a longtime smoker alleging that his death in March 2013 was caused by...

Florida Jury Awards Smoker $26 Million In COPD Suit Against Philip Morris

FORT MYERS, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on Sept. 16 awarded $20 million in punitive damages to a woman who alleged that her chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) was caused by her years of smoking ( Judith Berger v. Philip...