Florida Appeals Court Vacates Punitive Damages, Allows Compensatories, In Tobacco Case

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida appeals court vacated $50,000 in punitive damages in a smoking wrongful death case Aug. 14, but allowed a compensatory damages award of approximately $957,000 to stand ( R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Pamela Ciccone , No. 4D11-3807, Fla. App...

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...

Jury Awards $1.3 Million In Zometa Jaw Injury Trial After Botching 1st Verdict Form

ORLANDO, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida federal jury on Sept. 20 found that Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. failed to warn a cancer patient about the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) and awarded her $1.3 million in medical expenses and non-economic damages ( Nancy Guenther, et al. v. Novartis...

Representatives Of Those Killed In A Plane Crash In Venezuela Ask U.S. Supreme Court To Review Their Case

On Oct. 2, 2013, the representatives of 102 individuals who perished in the plane crash of West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 in 2005 filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court ( SYLVIA BAPTE, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Christiane Bapte, deceased...

Florida Federal Jury Finds Former Smoker Did Not Meet Engle Class Standard

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) A federal jury in Florida found for Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Group LLC Oct. 29 and against the estate of a smoker who died of lung cancer in 2001 ( Ronnie L. Jacobson, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. , No. 1:12-cv-23781, S.D. Fla.). ( Verdict slip...

Social Media Blunders in Employment Law – How a Facebook Post Can Turn a Case Upside Down

Social media has forever changed how the world communicates. While many have cited the positive consequences of social media, employment law attorneys are discovering that a simple Facebook post can turn into a costly mistake. The latest social media blunder occurred in an age discrimination case...

Florida High Court Strikes Down Statutory Caps On Medical Malpractice Noneconomic Damages In Wrongful Death Cases

On March 13, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court issued a ground-breaking decision on an issue that has plagued plaintiffs’ lawyers for years – statutory caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Estate of McCall v. United States, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 933 (Fla. Mar. 13, 2014 ) The...

Florida Federal Jury Awards $2.5 Million To Smoker With Lung Disease

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida federal jury awarded $5 million in compensatory damages May 15 to a woman who said three companies’ cigarettes caused chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but the jury assigned 50 percent of the fault to the plaintiff ( Pauline Burkhart, et...

Florida Federal Jury Adds $2.5M In Punitive Damages For Smoker With Lung Disease

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida federal jury added $2.5 million in punitive damages Friday to $2.5 million in compensatory damages it had awarded May 15 to a woman who said three companies’ cigarettes caused chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( Pauline Burkhart, et al....

Florida Jury Awards $23 Billion In Punitives To Smoker’s Family

PENSACOLA, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida state court jury on July 18 ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to pay more than $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the family of a man who alleged that his death from lung cancer was caused by smoking ( Cynthia Robinson, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco...

July Jury Verdict Round-Up: Top 5 Personal Injury Verdicts

During July, the attorney editors on the LexisNexis Jury Verdict team covered several notable personal injury verdicts from across the country. This informal list of top five cases captured our attention this past month, so we thought you might like to hear about them. If you are interested in submitting...

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...

Mealey’s PI/Product Liability — Plaintiff, Tobacco Companies Outline Evidence In Florida Laryngeal Cancer Case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) Plaintiff and defense attorneys on Aug. 11 laid out the evidence they expect to present to a jury in the Broward County, Fla., 17th Circuit Court in a suit alleging that a 62-year-old woman’s laryngeal and lung cancer was caused by years of smoking...

Foley & Lardner LLP: 8th Circuit Dismisses Whistleblower's Suit Finding Facts Were Already Publicly Disclosed

By Jacqueline N. Acosta In an August 7, 2014 opinion, the Eighth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a whistleblower’s suit alleging that a number of pain pump device makers had violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by marketing their pain pumps for harmful off-label uses. United States ex rel. Paulos...

Florida Woman Testifies About Unsuccessful Attempts To Quit Smoking (Watch The Video)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla — (Mealey’s) A Florida woman who alleges that her laryngeal and lung cancer was caused by years of smoking cigarettes testified Aug. 22 that she made numerous attempts to quit but was unsuccessful until her laryngectomy made it physically impossible for her to smoke ...

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...

Florida Judge Declares Mistrial In Tobacco Case Because Of Witness Statement (Watch The Videos)

VIERA, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A state court judge sitting in the Brevard County, Fla., 18th Judicial Circuit Court entered a mistrial on Sept. 26 after two weeks of trial in a wrongful death action brought by the widow of a longtime smoker because of a comment made by an expert witness for the...

Parties Dispute Nicotine Addiction Issue In Florida Suit’s Opening Statements (Watch The Videos)

TAMPA, Fla. — (Mealey’s) Trial got under way on Sept. 26 with opening statements in the Hillsborough County, Fla., 13th Judicial Circuit Court in a suit alleging that a woman’s death from lung cancer was caused by her 40 years of smoking ( James Lourie, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco...

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Cert For Celebrity Cruise Line Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a group of Indian state room workers for a cruise line who sought review of a federal judge’s decision to dismiss their case to vacate an arbitration award as untimely (...

Parties Offer Opening Statements In Florida Lung Cancer Suit (Watch The Videos)

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) The attorney for the widow of a man who died of lung cancer after smoking for more than 45 years told a jury in the Florida 11th Judicial Court on Oct. 31 that his client’s husband “needed to smoke” because he was addicted to nicotine ( Diane Schleider...

Florida Jury Awards $521,000 In Punitives To Smoker With COPD (Watch The Video)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A woman who alleged that her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and peripheral vascular disease (PVD) were caused by smoking cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was awarded $521,345.08 in punitive damages by a jury in Florida’s...

Florida Jury Awards $450,000 In Punitives To Daughter of Smoker (Watch The Closing Statement Videos)

BRONSON, Fla. — (Mealey’s) The daughter of a smoker who died of lung cancer was awarded $450,000 in punitive damages Nov. 12 by a jury in Florida’s Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in a trial limited to the redetermination of damages following the striking of an earlier award of almost...

Jury Awards $26.7 Million To 4 Women In Boston Scientific Pelvic Mesh MDL Trial

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) A federal jury in Florida on Nov. 13 awarded four women a total of $26.7 million in a multidistrict litigation trial involving Boston Scientific Corp.’s Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit pelvic mesh repair device ( Amal Eghnayem, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation...

Florida Jury Awards $21 Million To Widow Of Smoker With Lung Cancer (Watch Closing Arguments Video Excerpts)

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) A jury in Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit Court returned a $21 million verdict Nov. 18 for the widow of a man who died of lung cancer after smoking for 45 years ( Diane Schleider, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. , No. 13-2013-CA-006984, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Dade...

Florida Jury Awards Smoker’s Family $3M, Will Consider Punitive Damages Next (Watch Closing Arguments Video Excerpts)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A jury in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court for Duval County on Nov. 24 awarded a total of $3,094,000 to the family of a woman who alleged that her death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was caused by her 35 years of smoking ( Andy...