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Smoker’s Widow Nets $26.6 Million Verdict In Latest Post-Engle Tobacco Trial

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) In the latest setback for the tobacco industry among Engle progeny cases, a Florida jury yesterday awarded $26.6 million to the widow of a smoker who died from lung cancer in 1994 ( Robin Cohen v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. , No. 07-11515, Fla. Cir...

Florida Judge Grants Mistrial In Latest Engle Progeny Tobacco Case

BRADENTON, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida judge granted a mistrial May 12 in an Engle progeny tobacco trial, two days after the cigarette company defendants questioned his actions in holding a private, off-the-record discussion with the jury after it had begun deliberations; it was not immediately...

Smoker Wins $8M In First New England Tobacco Plaintiff Verdict

HARTFORD, Conn. - (Mealey's) A Connecticut jury capped a month-long trial May 27 by awarding a cancer-afflicted smoker $8 million against the cigarette maker she blamed for her illness; the verdict for the plaintiff is reportedly the first in New England ( Barbara A. Izzarelli v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco...

11th Circuit: More Inquiry Into Engle Jury's Finding Needed

ATLANTA - (Mealey's) Florida federal courts presiding over Engle progeny cases must do more work to identify precisely what the Phase I trial findings of the Engle jury mean before deciding the extent to which they have res judicata effect in establishing elements of the individual plaintiffs'...

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...

Verdict Goes RJR’s Way In Latest Engle Progeny Trial

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - (Mealey's) On Aug. 26, a Florida jury returned a verdict of no liability for a cigarette company that was sued by the son of a deceased smoker in the latest Engle progeny case, one of only a handful of defense verdicts to date ( Jason Budnick v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. ...

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...

$80 Million Verdict Halts Industry's Streak In Engle Progeny Trials

BRONSON, Fla. - (Mealey's) The tobacco industry's eight-verdict winning streak in Engle progeny cases came to an abrupt halt on Nov. 15 in a Florida state court with an $80 million verdict on behalf of the daughter of a smoker who died from lung cancer after smoking cigarettes made by R.J. Reynolds...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...