Mealey's Tobacco

  • June 23, 2017

    Florida Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Tobacco Lawsuit

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appellate panel on June 21 affirmed a trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment to a tobacco company in a wrongful death suit because a man who died from smoking related diseases was not an Engle class member and therefore the woman representing his estate cannot be considered an Engle class member and she filed the suit after the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim had expired (Donna Fanali v. R.J. Reynolds, No. 4D16-67, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 8987).

  • June 19, 2017

    Federal Judge Dismisses Trademark Infringement Suit Against Tobacco Shop

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on June 15 denied a pipe maker’s motion for default final judgment and dismissed the trademark infringement suit without prejudice because the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the suit (Sream Inc. v. Hookah, Tobacco And Sun Inc., No. 17-CV-2020701, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93106).

  • June 16, 2017

    Jurors Disagrees On Compensatory Damages In Engle Progeny Suit

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Florida judge on June 15 declared a mistrial in an Engle progeny suit after the jury deadlocked on compensatory damages and attorneys for Philip Morris USA Inc. argued that there cannot be a compromise verdict (Jo Freeman v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2015CA003930, Fla., 8th Jud. Cir., Alachua Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 14, 2017

    Tobacco Companies Sue Oklahoma Government Over New Tax On Cigarettes

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Philip Morris USA Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. on June 7 joined Oklahoma tobacco wholesalers in filing a writ of prohibition to the state Supreme Court over the government’s attempt to pass a tax that would require tobacco wholesalers to pay an additional $1.50 per pack of cigarettes (James P. Naifeh, et al. v. State of Oklahoma, et al., No. 116102, Okla. Sup.).

  • June 14, 2017

    Federal Judge Finds Georgia’s Tobacco Regulations Constitutional

    ATLANTA — A federal judge in Georgia on May 30 found that he does not have jurisdiction to preside over claims that Georgia’s tobacco regulations do not violate state law or the U.S. Constitution and granted the state’s motion to dismiss in a suit over the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between tobacco companies and the state (S&M Brands v. State of Georgia ex rel. Christopher M. Carr, No. 1:16-CV-4469, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86093, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86093).

  • June 13, 2017

    Defendants Tell Court No Reason Exists To Review Asbestos Expert Ruling

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Two defendants freed from an $8 million verdict after a court found expert asbestos causation testimony improperly admitted at trial have told the Florida Supreme Court that there are no grounds for reviewing the decision (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).

  • June 8, 2017

    FDA Sued Over Allowing ‘Natural’ To Be Part Of Cigarette’s Brand

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A man on June 6 filed suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Thomas Price, the secretary of HHS, in Florida federal court, saying the defendants violated federal law by allowing a tobacco company to use the word “natural” in the brand name and trademarks (Justin Sproule v. United States Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 9:17-cv-80709, S.D. Fla.).

  • June 6, 2017

    Jury Finds For Tobacco Companies In Engle Progeny Trial

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida state court jury on June 2 found in favor of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. in a suit where a man and his wife claimed that the man developed bladder cancer because of his addiction to cigarettes made by the two tobacco companies (Steven Kogan, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 2007CA023657, Fla. 15th Jud. Cir. Palm Beach Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 1, 2017

    Delaware Judge Denies Motion For Class Certification In Tobacco Suit

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A judge in Delaware state court on May 30 denied a motion filed by a plaintiff in a tobacco product suit to certify a class of Delaware smokers who spent money on Marlboro lights and denied the tobacco company’s motion for summary judgment because the plaintiff’s claims arise from state law, not federal law (Mary A. Carroll, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 03C-08-167, Del. Super.).

  • May 31, 2017

    Judge Dismisses Wrongful Death Suit Against Tobacco Companies

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on May 16 dismissed a wrongful death suit against two tobacco companies brought by the widower of a woman who died from cardiovascular diseases after years of smoking because the plaintiff failed to join his adult children as plaintiffs in the suit (Julius Engel v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2:17-cv-618, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74692).

  • May 26, 2017

    Federal Judge Orders UPS To Pay More Than $240M For Shipping Untaxed Cigarettes

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on May 25 ordered United Parcel Service Inc. to pay a total of $246,975,614 after finding in March that UPS knowingly shipped cigarettes to unauthorized sellers and on behalf of those sellers to residents in New York (The State of New York, et al. v. United Parcel Service Inc., No. 15-cv-1136, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43495).

  • May 26, 2017

    Judge: Tribes Must Follow Cigarette Trafficking Act’s Record-Keeping Regulations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The record-keeping provisions of the Contraband Cigarettes Trafficking Act (CCTA) applies to tribal entities for tobacco sales on as well as off the reservation, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled May 24 (Ho-Chunk, Inc., et al. v. Jeff Sessions, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States, et al., No. 16-cv-01652, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79397).

  • May 25, 2017

    Florida Judge Declares Mistrial In Engle Progeny Lawsuit

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida state court judge on May 23 declared a mistrial in an Engle progeny suit in which a woman claimed that a tobacco company hid the dangers of smoking from her husband, which led to his lung cancer and death, because the judge gave contradictory jury instructions that may confuse the jury (Lorraine Olson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2008-CA-00396, Fla. 4th Jud. Cir., Duval Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • May 23, 2017

    Jury Awards $2.4 Million To Former Smoker In Engle Progeny Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida state court jury on May 19 awarded a woman who developed lung cancer from smoking $1.3 million in punitive damages, bringing the total award to $2.4 million in the suit where she claimed that the misinformation spread about the harmfulness and addictive nature of cigarettes by a tobacco company led to her lung cancer (Linda Martin v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 07-34267-CA, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Dade Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • May 22, 2017

    11th Circuit Finds Federal Law Does Not Preempt Engle Progeny Claims

    ATLANTA — A majority of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an en banc decision on May 18 ruled that federal law does not preempt smokers from filing negligence suits against tobacco companies and affirmed a $2.75 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit (Theresa Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-14590, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8718).

  • April 7, 2017

    Florida Supreme Court: Federal Law Does Not Preempt Engle Progeny Claims

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on April 6 affirmed trial court’s judgment in favor of an Engle progeny plaintiff after answering a certified question from a lower appellate court finding that federal law does not preempt negligence and strict liability claims because those claims do not hinder the sale of cigarettes, but go after the tobacco companies for their conspiracy to hide the dangers of smoking from the public (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Phil J. Marotta, No. SC16-218, Fla. Super., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 744).

  • May 16, 2017

    Engle Progeny Parties Dispute Significance Of Florida Supreme Court Ruling

    ATLANTA — The daughter of man who was awarded $2.75 million in an Engle progeny suit and the tobacco companies that initially appealed the verdict on May 1 filed briefs in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals disputing the significance of a Florida Supreme Court ruling that held that federal law does not preempt negligence and strict liability claims in Engle progeny suits (Theresa Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-14590, 11th Cir.).

  • May 16, 2017

    Majority Of Colorado High Court Finds Blunt Wraps Taxable

    DENVER — A Colorado Supreme Court majority on May 15 determined that blunt wraps are a tobacco product and subject to taxation under Colorado’s tobacco tax because they are a “kind” or “form” of tobacco and fall within “the plain language of ‘tobacco products’” under Colorado’s tobacco tax (Colorado Department of Revenue, et al. v. Creager Mercantile Co. Inc., No. 15SC266, Colo. Sup., 2017 Colo. LEXIS 376).

  • April 7, 2017

    Florida Supreme Court: Federal Law Does Not Preempt Engle Progeny Claims

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on April 6 affirmed a trial court’s judgment in favor of an Engle progeny plaintiff after answering a certified question from a lower appellate court finding that federal law does not preempt negligence and strict liability claims because those claims do not hinder the sale of cigarettes, but go after the tobacco companies for their conspiracy to hide the dangers of smoking from the public (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Phil J. Marotta, No. SC16-218, Fla. Super., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 744).

  • May 15, 2017

    Florida Jury Awards $6.8 Million To Widow In Tobacco Suit

    ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida state court jury on May 12 awarded the widow of a smoker $5 million in punitive damages in an Engle progeny suit, bringing the total award to $6.8 million (Mary Sheffield v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2013-CA-009469, Fla. 9th Jud. Cir., Orange Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.