Jury Gives Florida Smoker's Widow Fraction Of Punitive Damages She Sought

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida jury on Aug. 19 handed a smoker's widow $270,000 in punitive damages, two weeks after awarding her a net $2.2 million compensatory award; the amount of punitive damages is far less even than that suggested by the tobacco company defendants ( Margaret...

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...

Graphic Images On Cigarette Packs Are Unconstitutional Compelled Speech, Judge Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Food and Drug Administration's proposed graphic warnings for cigarette packs violate the First Amendment bar against compelled speech, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled Feb. 29 in granting summary judgment in favor of five tobacco companies ( R.J. Reynolds...

Florida Appeals Court Vacates $79.2 Million Verdict In Tobacco Death Case

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A $79.2 million verdict on behalf of the daughter of a smoker who died from lung cancer was vacated as excessive on April 9 by the First District Florida Court of Appeal ( R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, v. Diane Webb , No. 10-6557, Fla. App., 1st Div.). ( Opinion...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Big Tobacco Loses Appeal in Racketeering Case

A federal appellate court recently rejected the tobacco industry's argument that restrictions imposed as part of a 2006 judgment should be set aside because Congress, in 2009, passed a law that imposed other restrictions on the industry and gave the Food & Drug Administration ("FDA"...

Judge Orders Tobacco Companies To Advertise Risks Of Smoking

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A District of Columbia federal judge on Nov. 27 released the language tobacco companies will be required to include in corrective statements in newspaper and television advertisements, on their websites and in cigarette packaging to counteract what the judge found to...

Court: New Evidence For Punitive Damages Was Not Precluded By Remand

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — (Mealey’s) Saying that a trial judge did not err by allowing new mitigating evidence to be presented to a jury considering the amount of punitive damages on remand, the Missouri Supreme Court on Sept. 10 affirmed a $1.5 million judgment in a long-running tobacco wrongful...

2nd Circuit Reinstates Smuggling, Racketeering Claims Against R.J. Reynolds

NEW YORK — (Mealey’s) The European Community (EC) is an agency or instrumentality of its member states for the purpose of diversity jurisdiction in U.S. federal courts, and allegations of cigarette smuggling, racketeering and money laundering brought by the EC against the corporate parent...

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...

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...

Deceased Smoker’s Daughter Testifies About His Smoking In Florida Wrongful Death Case (Watch The Video)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla — (Mealey’s) The daughter of a deceased smoker testified in a wrongful death action in state court Aug. 19 that her father “was always smoking” and “was always trying to quit” ( Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. , No. 2008...

Deceased Smoker’s Daughter Testifies About Quitting Smoking Attempts In Florida Case (Watch The Video)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.— (Mealey’s) The daughter of a deceased smoker testified in a wrongful death action in Florida’s 17th Judicial Court for Broward County Florida on Aug. 20 that her father was unable to quit smoking because he was addicted to cigarettes ( Heather Irimi, et al. v...

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 ...

Closing Arguments Center On ‘Addiction’ Issue In Florida Smoking Case (Watch the Video)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) Closing arguments got under way Aug. 26 in Florida’s 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County in a suit alleging that a longtime smoker’s March 2013 death was caused by smoking cigarettes ( Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco...

Tobacco Companies Say Smoker Was Not Addicted In Florida Case Closings (Watch The Video)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) Closing statements by attorneys for three tobacco companies wrapped up on Aug. 27 in the Florida 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County in a suit alleging that a longtime smoker’s death in March 2013 was caused by his smoking ( Heather Irimi...

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...

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...

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...