Mealey's Tobacco

  • February 21, 2018

    $24 Million Awarded To Wife, Daughter Of Deceased Smoker

    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.

  • February 16, 2018

    Florida Appeals Panel Reinstates $2 Million Tobacco Verdict

    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).

  • February 16, 2018

    Judge Grants Directed Verdict For Defense In Tobacco Lawsuit

    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.

  • February 15, 2018

    Florida Appeals Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Engle Progeny Suit

    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).

  • February 15, 2018

    Owner Of Tobacco Businesses Files Federal Lawsuit Against FDA

    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.).

  • February 12, 2018

    Florida Supreme Court Declines To Review $18 Million Tobacco Verdict

    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).

  • February 9, 2018

    Florida Appeals Panel Dismisses Engle Progeny Suit Because Of Dead Plaintiff

    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).

  • February 9, 2018

    Florida Appeals Panel Affirms Dismissal Of 73 Engle Progeny Suits

    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).

  • February 8, 2018

    Suit Filed In California State Court Over Exploding Vaping Device

    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.).

  • February 7, 2018

    Florida Jury Awards Family Of Smoker $17.5 Million In Engle Progeny Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida jury on Feb. 6 awarded the surviving family members of a smoker who died from lung cancer $10 million in punitive damages, bringing the total amount of damages to $17.5 million (Kenneth Gloger v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2011-CA-23377, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir. Miami-Dade Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • February 6, 2018

    Former Smoker Seeks Reinstatement Of $20 Million Punitive Damages Award

    ATLANTA — A former smoker who won a total of $26.5 million in an Engle progeny suit asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 2 to reinstate $20 million in punitive damages, saying the trial judge erred by revoking the damages (Judith Berger v. Philip Morris USA Inc., Nos. 15-15633, 16-10021, 16-15957, 11th Cir.).

  • February 6, 2018

    Florida Jury Awards $40.9 Million In Tobacco Lawsuit

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida jury on Feb. 5 awarded the family of a former smoker $27 million in punitive damages in an Engle progeny suit, bringing the total amount of damages to $40.9 million (Dawn Schlefstein v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2008-CV-022558, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir. Broward Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • January 29, 2018

    11th Circuit Panel Upholds $620,000 Verdict In Tobacco Lawsuit

    ATLANTA — A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 25 found that a trial court did not err in an Engle progeny suit by denying a tobacco company’s motion to reduce compensatory damages to the widower of a woman who died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (James Smith Sr. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-14316, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1916).

  • January 25, 2018

    Florida Jury Sides With Tobacco Company In Engle Progeny Suit

    DELAND, Fla. — A jury in Florida on Jan. 24 found in favor of a tobacco company in an Engle progeny suit in which a woman claimed that her husband was addicted to cigarettes made by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and that his addiction was the cause of his oral cavity cancer and death (Dorothy Mae Kelsey v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2007 33215 CICI, Fla. 7th Jud. Cir., Volusia Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • January 24, 2018

    Florida Supreme Court Declines To Review $13.4 Million Tobacco Verdict

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on Jan. 23 declined to review a tobacco suit in which a jury awarded a widower and his daughter $13.4 million in damages over the death of his wife (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Paul R. Larkin, et al., No. SC17-1712, Fla. Sup., 2018 Fla. LEXIS 133).

  • January 24, 2018

    Man Injured By Exploding Vaporizer Files Suit In New York State Court

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A man who was injured after his vaporizer exploded while he was using it filed suit Jan. 5 in a New York state court against the store that sold the vaporizer to him, claiming that the store should have known the product was defective and that there was a possibility it could have exploded while he was using it (Owen Atkisson v. Village Vape Or Smoke Inc., No. E2018000130, N.Y. Sup. Monroe Co.).

  • January 24, 2018

    Michigan Appeals Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Tobacco License Suit

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In an unpublished opinion issued Jan. 23, a panel of the Third District Michigan Court of Appeals ordered that a suit over a tobacco manufacturing license being revoked be remanded to a lower court for further proceedings because there is a still a question over whether a manufacturer without a license can be on a list of manufacturers who did not make a settlement with the state (Grand River Enterprises Six Nations LTD. v. Department of Treasury, et al., No. 335170, Mich. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Mich. App. LEXIS 168).

  • January 22, 2018

    Special Master Urges Court To Keep $9 Million Sanctions For Engle Cases

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A special master in an investigation to determine whether two law firms filed frivolous Engle progeny lawsuits  told a panel of federal judges in Florida on Jan. 12 that the firms deserve the $9 million sanctions the panel imposed against them, calling the sanctions “modest” (In Re:  Engle Cases, No. 3:09-cv-10000, M.D. Fla.).

  • January 16, 2018

    Florida Judge Orders R.J. Reynolds To Continue To Make Tobacco Payments

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida state court judge on Dec. 27 ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to continue to make payments to Florida under the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) for three brands of cigarettes it sold to ITG Brands until the Delaware Chancery Court, which oversees issues arising from the sale agreement, is able to work out the details regarding which company is responsible to payments to Florida for the brands (State of Florida, et al. v. American Tobacco Company, et al., No. 95-CA-1466, Fla. 15th Jud. Cir.., Palm Beach Co.).

  • January 16, 2018

    Tobacco Company Removes Engle Progeny Suit To Florida Federal Court

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A tobacco company being sued for product liability in Florida state court on Jan. 5 removed the suit to Florida federal court because the plaintiff in the state Engle progeny suit also has a pending Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which under federal law is an asset of the bankruptcy estate (David Walters v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 3:18-CV-75, M.D. Fla.).