Split 6th Circuit Says Graphic Cigarette Pack Warnings Are Constitutional

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - (Mealey's) Given that tobacco companies have learned to circumvent bans on marketing to minors, a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said March 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's proposal for large, graphic warnings on packs pursuant to the 2009 Family Smoking...

Appeals Court Upholds Country Club Exemption To North Carolina Smoking Ban

RALEIGH, N.C. - (Mealey's) The North Carolina Court of Appeals on March 20 upheld a law that exempts private country clubs from a statewide smoking ban, saying the law does not deny due process rights of nightclub owners because its purpose is to prevent the public from secondhand smoke ( Benjamin...

Punitive Damages Award Vacated On Repose Statute In Tobacco Death Case

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - (Mealey's) The $5 million punitive damages portion of what was originally an $8 million verdict has been vacated by a Florida appeals court, which found May 2 that the reliance required for the fraudulent concealment claim on which the punitive damages award was based was...

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...

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 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...

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...

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 — 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...

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...

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...