LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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 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...

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 — 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 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 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 $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 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...

Florida Jury Cites Lack Of Proof On Causation, Finds For Philip Morris (Watch The Closing Statement Videos)

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) A state court jury returned a defense verdict Jan. 23 in a suit alleging that a longtime smoker’s laryngeal cancer was caused by his use of Marlboro cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris USA Inc. ( Jose Vila Jr. v. Philip Morris USA Inc. , No. 2013-12833-CA, Fla...

Counsel For Smoker, Tobacco Companies Spar Over Addiction Issue In Florida Suit (Watch The Videos)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) The “lies and deceit” of the tobacco industry caused longtime smoker Edward Caprio to become addicted to cigarettes that led to his lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Caprio’s attorney told a Florida state court...

Jury Returns Partial Verdict For Smoker In Florida Tobacco Case (Watch The Closing Argument Videos)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida state court judge accepted a partial jury verdict in a suit against four tobacco companies Feb. 24 amid calls for a mistrial from the defendants after the jury reported that it could not reach agreement on all questions on the verdict form ( Edward...

Plaintiffs, Tobacco Companies Reach Aggregate Settlement In 415 Smoking Cases

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A federal judge issued a stay of proceedings in 415 Engle progeny cases Feb. 25 after the plaintiffs agreed to a $100 million aggregate settlement with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. ( In re: Engle Progeny Cases...

Plaintiff, Tobacco Companies Lay Out Evidence In Suit By Smoker’s Widow (Watch The Videos)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) Trial got under way March 9 in the Florida 17th Judicial Court for Broward County with opening statements in a suit alleging that the death of a lung cancer sufferer was caused by his years of smoking ( Rose Pollari, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,...

Florida Jury Awards $13 Million To Widow Of Longtime Smoker (Watch The Videos)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida state court jury awarded $3 million in punitive damages March 25 to the widow of a man who died of lung cancer after smoking for approximately 50 years ( Rose Pollari, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. , No. 14-001563CA19, Fla. 17th Jud...

2nd Jury Hears Openings In Tobacco Suit Halted By Florida Supreme Court’s Rulings (Watch Opening Statement Videos)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) Opening statements got under way April 10 — for the second time in less than two weeks — in an Engle progeny suit in which a mistrial was declared just two hours after the Florida Supreme Court handed down two rulings on the standard of proof...

Jurors Hear Openings In Retrial Of Suit After Florida High Court Ruling (Watch The Videos Of The Opening Statements)

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) Trial got under way in the Florida 11th Judicial Circuit Court with opening statements April 10 in a suit that was the subject of a Florida Supreme Court ruling eight days earlier resolving a conflict among the state appellate courts on the standard of proof for claims...

Florida Jury Awards $46.5 Million To Longtime Smoker With COPD (Watch The Closing Argument Videos)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A state court jury awarded $25 million in punitive damages April 21 to a man who alleged that his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was caused by his 40 years of smoking cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. ( Thomas Ryan v. R.J...

Florida Jury Returns Verdict For Reynolds, Philip Morris In COPD Suit (Watch The Closing Arguments Videos)

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) A Florida state court jury returned a defense verdict April 23 in a suit alleging that a woman’s chronic pulmonary disease (COPD) and death were caused by her more than 30 years of smoking cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris USA Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco...