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Florida Smoker's Widow Gets $2.2 Million In Compensatory Damages; Punitives To Follow

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida jury on Aug. 5 awarded $2.2 million in compensatory damages against a pair of tobacco companies to the widow of a smoker who died of small-cell lung cancer attributed to its products, finding that the smoker's addiction was the legal cause of his death...

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...

Missouri Democrat Keeps TV Ad Despite Fox News Lawsuit

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - (AP) Missouri Democrat Robin Carnahan is forging ahead with a television ad in her U.S. Senate campaign despite being sued by the Fox News Network for copyright infringement, her campaign said Thursday. Spokesman Linden Zakula defended the ad, saying the campaign believes it complies...

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...

Smoker Wasn't Addicted, Fla. Jury Finds In Awarding Verdict To Tobacco Companies

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jurors in a Florida circuit court on Oct. 6 capped a retrial in an Engle progeny case with a defense verdict, finding that the plaintiff was not addicted to smoking the defendant tobacco companies' cigarettes; the verdict extends a recent string of victories for the defendants...

Florida Jury: Philip Morris Not Negligent; Plaintiff Did Not Show Reliance

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- (Mealey's) A Florida circuit court jury handed Philip Morris USA its sixth straight victory in an Engle progeny case Nov. 12, finding that the plaintiffs did not show reliance on the part of the decedent or negligence on the part of the company ( Maria J. Espinosa v. Philip...

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...

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...

Marlboro Maker Altria Sues China-Based Websites

RICHMOND, Va. - (AP) Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. said Wednesday it is suing seven Chinese online retailers, alleging they sold counterfeit versions of its top-selling cigarette brands to customers in the U.S. The owner of the nation's largest tobacco company, Philip Morris USA, said this is...

Florida Jury Awards 2nd Post-Engle Smoker Verdict, $86,000

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- For the second time in a week, a Florida jury on Feb. 15 found for a post- Engle tobacco plaintiff but issued a relatively small award of compensatory damages ( Despinda Hatziyannakis, as Personal Representative of Christos Hatziyannakis v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al. , No...

Florida Ruling Big Tobacco Won Is Coming Back To Bite It

MIAMI - (AP) A Florida Supreme Court ruling that threw out a $145 billion award against cigarette makers is biting Big Tobacco back, making it dramatically easier for thousands of smokers to sue and turning the state into the nation's hot spot for damage awards. The 2006 ruling has helped . . . ...

Illinois Appeals Court Revives Light Cigarette Lawsuit

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - (AP) A lawsuit that led to a $10.1 billion verdict against cigarette-making Philip Morris USA before it was tossed out by the Illinois Supreme Court has been revived by a lower court, sending the case back to the county once tagged as among the nation's most lawsuit-friendly...

Florida Jury Awards Smoker $1 Million But Finds Her 70 Percent Liable For Injury

DELAND, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida circuit court jury awarded $1 million to a 77-year-old Daytona Beach, Fla., woman on April 7 but also found her 70 percent responsible for her lung cancer ( Stella Koballa, et al. v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al. , No. 2007-33334-CICI, Fla. Cir., Volusia Co....

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...

Scalia's Pro-Tobacco Order Tossed By Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (AP) Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia exercised a rarely used power last fall to let Philip Morris USA and three other big tobacco companies delay making multimillion-dollar payments for a program to help people quit smoking. Scalia, a cigarette smoker himself, justified acting...

Illinois High Court Won't Block Reopening Of $10.1 Billion Light Cigarette Case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - (Mealey's) The Illinois Supreme Court on Sept. 28 declined to hear Philip Morris Inc.'s appeal of an intermediate appeals court ruling that reopens a case that resulted in a $10.1 billion verdict against the tobacco giant for claims that its "light" cigarettes were...

Jury Rules For Philip Morris In 1st Federal Post-Engle Trial

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida federal court jury found for the defense Feb. 16 in the first federal tobacco trial based on the Florida Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc. (945 So.2d 1246 [Fla. Sup. 2006], cert denied , 128 S.Ct. 96 [2007]), according to...

$1.9M Tobacco Verdict Reversed By Florida Appeals Court On Statute Of Limitations

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida state appeals court panel on Feb. 22 reversed a $1.9 million tobacco death judgment against Philip Morris USA Inc., saying that a jury's answer about when a deceased plaintiff knew about her injury meant that the plaintiff missed the state's four...

Minnesota Supreme Court Says Tobacco Settlement Bars 'Light Cigarette' Suit

ST. PAUL, Minn. - (Mealey's) The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between 46 states and major tobacco companies precludes private suits for wrongful conduct occurring even after the settlement's 1998 execution, a divided Minnesota Supreme Court said May 30 in dismissing a putative class action...

Reference To Nazi Gets Judge Booted From Florida Tobacco Trial

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A Florida judge who compared a former tobacco company chief executive officer to a Nazi war criminal was disqualified by the state's First District Court of Appeal Sept. 5 from presiding over a tobacco case ( Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Mary Brown , No. 1D12-3090...

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...

William A. Ruskin: New York State Court Of Appeals: Injury Required For Medical Monitoring

By William A. Ruskin | In a landmark decision, the NYS Court of Appeals rejected medical monitoring claims in the absence of a physical injury in Caronia v. Philip Morris , No. 227, slip op. (N.Y. Dec. 17, 2013) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. By way of background, on May...