Minnesota Panel Lets Marlboro Lights Class Action Proceed

MINNEAPOLIS - (Mealey's) A lawsuit alleging that Philip Morris USA used deceptive trade practices and false advertising to market its Marlboro Lights cigarettes may proceed in Minnesota as a class action, the state Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 28, reversing in part a lower court's dismissal of...

Connecticut Smoker Awarded $4 Million More In Tobacco Lawsuit

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - (AP) A Connecticut smoker who won $8 million against a tobacco company in May, the first such jury award in New England, has been awarded $4 million in punitive damages and stands to get millions more in interest. Barbara Izzarelli, a Norwich resident who developed larynx cancer, won...

Federal Judge Rejects Marlboro Smokers' Medical Monitoring Claims

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - (Mealey's) A New York federal judge on Jan. 13 dismissed a lawsuit by Marlboro smokers seeking certification of a class to require Philip Morris USA to pay for medical monitoring, saying that because all cigarettes are dangerous, Philip Morris' failure to design a cigarette with...

Government, Big Tobacco In Dispute Over Proposed Ads

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (AP) The Justice Department wants the largest cigarette manufacturers to admit that they lied to the public about the dangers of smoking, forcing the industry to set up and pay for an advertising campaign of self-criticism for past behavior. As part of a 12-year-old lawsuit against...

Connecticut Smoker Gets Another $15.7M Against R.J. Reynolds

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - (AP) A federal judge has awarded nearly $16 million in interest to a smoker who already had won $12 million against a tobacco company in the first such jury award in New England. Judge Stefan Underhill awarded about $15.7 million to Barbara Izzarelli, a Norwich resident who developed...

Florida Jury Awards Smoker's Widow $4.5 Million But Splits Blame

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida jury awarded $4.5 million to the 87-year-old widow of a longtime smoker April 13, but tempered her eventual compensation by assigning nearly half of the responsibility to the decedent ( Mary Tullo v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al. , No. 2008-CA-035457, Fla. Cir...

Tobacco Companies Make Payments Under Master Settlement Agreement

RICHMOND, Va. - (AP) The nation's top cigarette companies said Friday they have made their payments as part of the 25-year settlement in which some cigarette makers are paying states for smoking-related health care costs. Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette maker owned by Altria...

Federal Judge Denies Marlboro Medical Monitoring Class

SAN FRANCISCO - (Mealey's) A California federal judge denied class certification and court-ordered cancer screenings for long-time Marlboro smokers on April 18 and dismissed all claims except design defect and negligent design and testing ( Burt Xavier and James Franklin, et al. v. Philip Morris...

Philip Morris USA, Other Tobacco Companies Win Favorable Verdict

RICHMOND, Va. - (AP) Philip Morris USA and other major tobacco companies won a lawsuit Friday filed by 37 Missouri hospitals seeking more than $455 million for treating sick smokers. Philip Morris USA was one of six tobacco companies involved in the lawsuit. The case was filed. . . . Full version available...

Cigarettes Will Carry Grisly New Warning Labels

RICHMOND, Va. - (AP) Rotting teeth and gums. Diseased lungs. A sewn-up corpse of a smoker. Cigarette smoke coming out of the tracheotomy hole in a man's neck. Cigarette packs in the U.S. will have to carry these macabre images in nine new warning labels that are part of a campaign . . . . Full version...

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Appeal Of $241 Million Tobacco Judgment

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court has denied tobacco companies' appeal of a Louisiana state court order to fund a $241 million medical monitoring and smoking cessation program, according to a clerk of the court report issued June 27 ( Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Deania...

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...

Federal Judge Blocks Graphic Cigarette Warnings

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) Saying graphic new cigarette pack warnings ordered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration violate companies' First Amendment rights by compelling speech, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Nov. 7 issued a preliminary injunction halting...

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...

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...

FDA Announces Ban On Chinese Company’s ‘Bidi’ Type Cigarettes

ROCKVILLE, Md. — (Mealey’s) For what it says is the first time since the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act became law in 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 21 ordered an end to the sale in the United States of a Chinese company’s “bidi” tobacco...

Illinois Appeals Court Reinstates $10 Billion ‘Light’ Cigarettes Verdict

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. — (Mealey’s) A $10.1 billion consumer fraud verdict stemming from Philip Morris USA Inc.’s marketing of “light” cigarettes was reinstated April 29 by Illinois' Fifth District Appellate Court ( Sharon Price, et al. v. Philip Morris Inc. , No. 5-13-0017...

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....

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...

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...

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...