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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...

Scalia Gives Big Tobacco $270 Million Reprieve

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (AP) Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has temporarily blocked a state court order requiring tobacco companies to pay $270 million for a smoking cessation program in Louisiana. Full version available to lexis.com subscribers .

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...

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...

Florida Jury Awards $250,000 In Post-Engle Punitive Damages

TAMPA, Fla. -- After awarding $100,000 in compensatory damages to a longtime smoker who had his larynx and part of his tongue removed as a result of laryngeal cancer, a Florida jury on Feb. 11 added $250,000 in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a post- Engle case ( Leroy Kirkland...

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 . . . ...

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...

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...

Florida Appeals Court Says 'Brand Usage' Not Required For Conspiracy Under Engle

MIAMI - (Mealey's) The landmark Florida tobacco case of Engle v. Liggett Group Inc. (945 So. 2d 1246 [Fla. 2006]) did not impose a "brand usage" requirement on claims for civil conspiracy and concealment but only on personal injury claims, a Florida appeals court ruled Nov. 30, reversing...

$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...

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 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’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...

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 High Court Says Statute Of Repose Does Not Bar Engle Fraud Claims

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A plaintiff seeking to assert a fraudulent concealment claim in an Engle progeny suit is not required to prove reliance on statements made by the defendant tobacco company within the 12-year statute of repose period leading up to the May 5, 1994, filing of the...

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 Says Smoker Not Addicted, Returns Defense Verdict (Watch Video Excerpts Of The Closing Statements)

PENSACOLA, Fla. — (Mealey’s) A Florida state court jury returned a defense verdict May 21 in a suit alleging that the death of a former smoker from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease was caused by his years of smoking ( Ethel...

Florida Jury Hears Openings In Trial Of Suit Filed By Widower Of Longtime Smoker (Watch The Opening Argument Video Excerpts)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (Mealey’s) Trial got under way in Florida state court on June 23 with opening statements in a suit alleging that a woman’s death from lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases was caused by her addiction to cigarettes ( John McCoy, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds...