LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
William A. Ruskin: The New York City Asbestos Litigation Just Became More Complicated

By William A. Ruskin | Pursuant to the Decision and Order of the Hon. Sherry Klein Heitler, dated April 8, 2014, asbestos plaintiffs for the first time since 1996 may seek permission from the New York City trial judges to charge the jury on the issue of punitive damages. Until Judge Heitler’s...

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...

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...

Pennsylvania State Court Jury Awards Plaintiff $2 Million In Actos Bladder Cancer Case

PHILADELPHIA — (Mealey’s) A Pennsylvania state court jury on Oct. 3 awarded an Actos bladder cancer patient $2.05 million in economic and noneconomic damages but declined to award punitive damages ( Frances Wisniewski v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., et al. , No. 120702272, Pa. Comm...

No New Trial In Actos MDL Bellwether Case, But Punitives Are Cut From $9 Billion To $36 Million

LAFAYETTE, La. — (Mealey’s) Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Eli Lilly and Co. will not get a new trial in the first Actos bladder cancer multidistrict litigation bellwether case, but a Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 27 reduced the $9 billion punitive damages verdict to $36.87 million...

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...

W.Va. Jury Finds Spoliation Of Evidence, Awards $155,000 Against Actos Manufacturer Takeda

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — (Mealey’s) A West Virginia state court jury on Nov. 17 found that Actos is not unsafe and that manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. was not negligent in the case of a man who developed bladder cancer while taking the diabetes drug, but the panel did find spoliation...

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...

DLA Piper: $185 Million Punitive Damages for Pregnancy Discrimination: What Led to the Largest Single-Plaintiff Employment Award?

By: Joseph Domenick Guarino and Kevin Connelly Rosario Juarez worked at AutoZone but now can buy 1 percent of its total market capitalization. Juarez began as a retail salesperson in San Diego in 2000. She was promoted to Parts Sales Manager but was unsuccessful in seeking advancement to store...

Pennsylvania State Court Jury Awards $2.5 Million In Risperdal Gynecomastia Trial

PHILADELPHIA — (Mealey’s) A Pennsylvania state court jury on Feb. 24 awarded $2.5 million to the family of a man who claimed that the atypical antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts ( P.P., et al. v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. ,...

5th Circuit Upholds Punitive Damages Award Against Employer For Offensive Gorilla Suit Performance

In an unpublished case, Henry v. Corpcar Servs. Houston, Ltd., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1208, 2015 WL 327650 (5th Cir. Tex. Jan. 27, 2015) , African-American employees of a limousine service company asked for time off for June 19, known as "Emancipation Day" or "Juneteenth," a holiday...

California Jury Awards $5.7 Million In Ethicon Pelvic Mesh Trial

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — (Mealey’s) A California state court jury on March 5 awarded $5.7 million to a plaintiff in an Ethicon pelvic mesh injury trial ( Colleen Perry, et al. v. Ethicon Inc., et al. , No. S-1500-CV-279123, Calif. Super., Kern Co.). The jury in the Kern County Superior Court...

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...

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...

Delaware Jury Awards $100 Million In Boston Scientific Pelvic Mesh Injury Case

WILMINGTON, Del. — (Mealey’s) A Delaware state court jury on May 28 awarded $100 million to a woman who says she was injured by pelvic mesh devices made by Boston Scientific Corp. ( Deborah A. Barba v. John C. Carlson, D.O., et al. , No. N11C-08-050, Del. Super., New Castle Co.). According...

Supreme Court Lets Stand West Virginia Ruling Striking Plaintiffs’ Tobacco Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 8 declined to review a ruling by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals rejecting the claims of more than 1,000 state residents against the tobacco industry ( Ronald Accord, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. , No. 14...

Texas Jury Awards $6.5 Million, Including $ 5 Million In Punitives, To Construction Worker Who Suffered Partial Foot Amputation Following Worksite Injury

On May 29, 2012, Rolando Cumpian was working for Leal Welding & Erection, Inc. in San Antonio, TX. At that time, Leal was operating as the subcontractor for Joeris General Contractors, Ltd., which was acting as the general contractor for a construction project at Dr. Folks Middle School. While on...

California Appeals Court Reinstates $6.5 Million Actos Verdict; Expert Back In

LOS ANGELES — (Mealey’s) A California appeals court panel on July 16 reinstated a $6.5 million Actos bladder cancer verdict, finding that the trial court erred in excluding the plaintiffs’ causation expert in a post-verdict ruling ( Nancy Cooper, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America...

Florida Jury Adds $9 Million Punitive Award To $1.5 Million In Compensatory Damages (Watch The Opening, Closing Argument Video Excerpts)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida state court jury on July 17 awarded $9 million in punitive damages — $3 million each against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. — to the widower of a woman who died of lung cancer after years...

Florida Jury Returns $14.5 Million Verdict For Woman Smoker With Oral Cavity Cancer

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) A Florida state court jury awarded $14.5 million July 23 to a woman who alleged that her oral cavity cancer was caused by her 30 years of smoking cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris USA Inc. ( Carmenza Merino v. Philip Morris USA Inc. , No. 08-1287-CA-25, Fla. 11th...

Florida Jury Awards $11 Million To Former Smoker With COPD (Watch The Opening And Closing Statements Video Excerpts)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida state court jury on Aug. 3 awarded $3.2 million in punitive damages to a woman who alleged that her years of smoking caused her to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that resulted in two lung transplants ( Elaine Jordan v. Philip...

California State Jury Awards $125 Million To Young Driver Paralyzed In Collision With Intoxicated Driver Who Ran Red Light

Shortly before 5 a.m. on March 23, 2013, plaintiff Francisco Briones, 21, was on his way to an early morning work shift at a local warehouse. Briones was waiting to turn left on a green light from Channel Islands Boulevard onto Rice Avenue; another car in front of him proceeded into the intersection...