Florida Appeals Court Strikes Punitive Damages, Orders Remittitur On Others In Tobacco Case

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida appeals court conditionally struck $5 million in punitive damages from a tobacco wrongful death suit June 12 and directed a trial judge to grant remittitur on $15 million in survivors' consortium claims ( Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Sharon Putney...

Oregon Appeals Court Reinstates, Remands 'Light' Cigarette Claims

SALEM, Ore. - (Mealey's) The Oregon Court of Appeals has reinstated a putative class of Marlboro Light cigarette smokers who say they suffered an economic loss because the cigarettes were no safer than regular Marlboros, saying June 19 that the trial judge erred in rejecting the superiority of class...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Court of Appeals Rules Against Philip Morris in Tobacco Buyout Dispute

By Troutman Sanders Tobacco Practice In an earlier blog post, we discussed a case pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in which the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia evaluated the methodology used by the United States Department of...

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...

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...

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....

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...

Williams Mullen: 4th Circuit Adopts More Demanding Test For Exercise Of Objective Prudence By Retirement Plan Fiduciaries

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw In the latest ruling in a long-running battle arising from company stock fund divestments, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has underscored the importance of procedural prudence in the management of plan assets. In Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment...

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...

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 $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...