TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A tobacco company filed a notice of appeal on March 13 in an Engle progeny suit after the trial court denied its motion to set aside the verdict in a suit where a woman claimed that her husband was addicted to cigarettes and that the addiction caused his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and death, according to the online docket (Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Veda Bryant, No. 1D18-1053, Fla. App., 1st Dist.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida state court jury on Feb. 27 found that punitive damages were not warranted in an Engle progeny suit in which jurors were tasked with deciding whether punitive damages were warranted for the family of a woman who died from lung cancer she developed from smoking cigarettes (Teresa Starr-Blundell v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 2008-CA-15000, Fla. 4th Jud. Cir., Duval Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
KEY WEST, Fla. — A Florida jury on March 1 found that a man who died of lung cancer was addicted to cigarettes but found that the man was at fault for his disease and death and rendered a defense verdict in an Engle progeny suit (Jewell Mobley v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2007-CA-001709, Fla. 16th Jud. Cir. Monroe Co.) VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
CHICAGO — A plaintiff seeking review of a cancellation by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of three trademarks relating to cigarette rolling papers was denied summary judgment by an Illinois federal judge on March 12 (DRL Enterprises Inc. v. North Atlantic Operating Company Inc., et al., No. 16-8384, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40191).
WICHITA, Kan. — A man who was injured after an electronic cigarette battery blew up in his pocket sued the store that sold it and the company that made the battery for it on Feb. 6, claiming that the store was negligent in selling it to him and that a different design would have prevented the explosion (Daniel Anderson v. Big E’s Vapor Shop LLC, No. 2018-CV-000286-OT, Kan. Dist., Sedgwick Co.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on March 12 denied a tobacco company’s petition to review a $33 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit in which a woman claimed that two tobacco companies hid the dangers of cigarettes from her husband, leading to his lung cancer and death (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Linda Enochs, No. SC17-2003, Fla. Sup., 2018 Fla. LEXIS 642).
LAKELAND, Fla. — Without an explanation, a Second District Florida Court of Appeal panel on March 9 affirmed summary judgment for a tobacco company in an Engle progeny suit in which a woman claimed that her husband developed emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and died because of his addiction to cigarettes made by the tobacco company (Elaine Damianakis v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2D16-3367, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2018 App. LEXIS 3437).
ATLANTA — A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 7 affirmed a $7.5 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the trial court did not err by not calling a mistrial after the plaintiff’s in-court medical emergency (Pauline Burkhart v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 14-14708, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 5695).
NEW YORK — New York state on Feb. 21 urged an appellate panel to uphold a federal judge’s $247 million verdict against the United Parcel Service (UPS), saying UPS had plenty of notice of the kind of damages the plaintiffs were seeking (The State of New York, et al. v. United Parcel Service, No. 17-1993, 2nd Cir.).
CLEVELAND — The Ohio Supreme Court on Feb. 28 turned away a railroad’s challenge involving whether an expert’s testimony regarding the synergistic effects of asbestos and tobacco met the standards for causation in asbestos cases (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. 2017-1207, Ohio Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 26 denied a tobacco company’s petition for writ of certiorari and upheld a $7.9 million verdict and a lower appellate court’s decision to grant a new trial on punitive damages only in a suit where a woman claimed that she developed cancer because of the cigarettes made by the company (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Barbara Izzarelli, No. 17-802, U.S. Sup.).
DADE CITY, Fla. — A jury in Florida state court on Feb. 20 awarded a family of a deceased smoker $15 million in punitive damages in an Engle progeny suit bringing the total award to $24 million in a suit where they claimed that smoking was the cause of a man’s lung cancer and death (Rosemarie Graffeo v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2016CA000233, Fla. Cir., 6th Jud., Pasco Co.) VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A panel of Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal on Feb. 14 affirmed a trial court’s decision to allow a plaintiff’s expert to testify and reinstated the full $2 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the court erred by reducing the award based on comparative fault (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Robert A. Gore Sr., No. 4D15-3892, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 2274).
MIAMI — Following the closing arguments in an Engle progeny suit on Feb. 15, a judge in Florida state court granted a tobacco company’s oral motion for directed verdict in a punitive damages-only trial (Joyce Hardin v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 07-46973-CA-22, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir. Miami-Dade Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
MIAMI — A panel of the Third District Florida Court of Appeal on Feb. 14 found that a trial court erred in dismissing an Engle progeny suit because the 90-day period to substitute a plaintiff had been extinguished when the plaintiff’s family filed a motion before an executor of the estate was named (Jerry Feller v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 3D16-2389, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 2160).
MINNEAPOLIS — A woman who owns several tobacco shops and businesses filed suit on Jan. 30 in a Minnesota federal court against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, claiming that the agency’s deeming rule violates free speech (Jen Hoban, et al. v. Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 0:18-cv-00269, D. Minn.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on Feb. 9 declined to review an $18 million verdict in an Engle progeny trial in which tobacco companies argued for a new trial because of the trial court’s failure to dismiss a juror for prejudice against tobacco companies (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. Andy R. Allen Sr., No. SC17-2055, Fla. Sup., 2018 Fla. LEXIS 356).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A panel of the First District Florida Court of Appeals on Feb. 8 dismissed an Engle progeny suit because her attorneys did not have the legal authority to file and maintain a suit on behalf of a dead woman (Raymond Staines v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 1D16-2655, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 1817).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A panel of the First District Florida Court of Appeal on Feb. 8 affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss 73 Engle progeny suits filed by two law firms on behalf of deceased plaintiffs because “a dead person cannot file and maintain a lawsuit” (In Re 73 Engle-Related Cases, No. 1D16-2651, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 1819).
ORANGE, Calif. — A man who was injured by a vaping device when it exploded in his face filed suit on Jan. 26 against the store that sold it to him, claiming that the store sold him a defective product (Gregory Gonta v. Tobacco Island, No. 2018-00969705, Calif. Super. Orange Co.).