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Florida Jury Awards $13.5 Million To Widow Of Addicted Smoker
DELAND, Fla. - A Florida jury on March 23 awarded $13.5 million to the widow of a man who died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) after finding that he was addicted to cigarettes that were made by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Margaret Brown v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2017 30003 CICI, Fla. 7th Jud. Cir., Volusia Co.)



Florida Appeals Panel Affirms Defense Verdict In Engle Progeny Suit
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Without explanation, a panel of the Fifth District Florida Court of Appeal on April 10 affirmed a defense verdict in an Engle progeny suit in which a woman claimed that her mother was addicted to cigarettes and that her heart disease, lung cancer and subsequent death were caused by her addiction to cigarettes (Debra Coursey v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 5D16-3712, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 4938).



Tobacco Company Seeks New Trial Following $4 Million Engle Progeny Verdict
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Philip Morris USA Inc. on March 28 moved for a new trial in an Engle progeny suit in which a jury awarded the widow of a man who died from lung cancer $4 million because of improper testimony from an expert, excluding evidence and improper closing arguments (Jo E. Freeman v. Philip Morris, No. 01-2015-CA-003930, Fla. 8th Jud. Cir., Alachua Co.).



Florida Appeals Panel Affirms $11 Million Engle Progeny Verdict
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Without explanation, a First District Florida Court of Appeal panel on April 3 affirmed an $11 million verdict for a woman who claimed that she was addicted to cigarettes made by a tobacco company and that her addiction was the cause of her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Elaine Jordan, No. 1D15-5871, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 4461).



Florida Jury Finds For Tobacco Company In Engle Progeny Suit
TAMPA, Fla. - A jury in Florida on March 28 found in favor of a tobacco company in an Engle progeny suit brought by a widower who claimed that his deceased wife died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (Alvin Gay v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 07-CA-014649, Fla. 13th Jud. Cir., Hillsborough Co.).



Tobacco Escrow Overpayment Suit Survives Motion To Dismiss
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina judge on April 2 denied a motion to dismiss a case in which a tobacco company is seeking to recover overpayments it made into an escrow fund because the claims brought by a tobacco company present an "existing justiciable controversy" and North Carolina and its attorney general are not immune from the claims (S&M Brands Inc. v. Josh Stein, et al., No. 17 CVS 6894, N.C. Sup., Wake Co., 2018 NCBC LEXIS 26).



Florida Federal Judge Dismisses Complaint Over Cigarette Advertisements
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on April 13 dismissed without prejudice a complaint against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in which the plaintiff claimed that the agency violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by allowing a cigarette company to advertise its cigarettes as natural because the plaintiff failed to establish causation and redressability (Justin Sproule v. United States Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 9:17-cv-80709, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62507).



Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Denial Of Retail Tobacco License
CHICAGO - An Illinois appellate panel in an unpublished opinion on March 30 affirmed a trial court's decision upholding the denial of an application for a retail tobacco license because the evidence showed that the store had been operating without a current license and continued to operate despite several cease-and-desist orders (E Cigs Loop Inc., et al. v. Chicago, No. 1-17-0914, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div., 2018 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 561).



Inmate's Attempt To Ban Smoking From Prison Facility Fails
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on April 11 denied a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by an inmate at a Pennsylvania state prison who is seeking to have all smoking and tobacco products banned from the correctional facility he is housed in because he has not shown how he has been harmed by the smoke (Bray Jibril Murray v. Secretary John E. Wetzel, et al., M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61236).



Health Groups Sue FDA Over New Tobacco Guidance
GREENBELT, Md. - The American Academy of Pediatrics and several other health groups and doctors on March 27 sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a Maryland federal court, claiming that the administration's "Guidance," which changed rules for "new tobacco products," is unlawful (American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. v. Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 8:18-CV-883, D. Md.).



Defendants Want Asbestos Plaintiffs Precluded From Raising Tobacco-Use Issues
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Federal law prevents lung cancer and mesothelioma asbestos plaintiffs from arguing or presenting evidence that they lacked sufficient warning about the dangers tobacco use posed, four defendants told a West Virginia judge on April 13 (In re: Asbestos Litigation, No. 03-C-9600, W.Va. Cir., Kanawa Co.).



R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Dismissed From Exploding E-Cigarette Suit
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - A federal judge in Michigan on March 27 granted a motion to dismiss a tobacco company from an exploding e-cigarette suit and substitute the tobacco company's subsidiary, which makes and sells the allegedly defective e-cigarette (Ronald Sumner v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 1:18-CV-306, W.D. Mich.).



U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Review $7.9 Million Tobacco Verdict
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.).



11th Circuit Panel Affirms $7.5 Million Tobacco Verdict
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).



$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.).



Florida High Court Orders Reconsideration Of New Engle Progeny Trial Motion
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court on March 16 granted a petition for review and without explanation ordered that a trial court re-examine a plaintiff's motion for a new trial in light of its decision in a case that held that comparative fault does not apply to Engle progeny cases (Stephen Tognoli v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. SC17-1398, Fla. Sup., 2018 Fla. LEXIS 696).



Florida Jury Finds Punitive Damages Not Warranted In Engle Progeny Suit
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.).



Florida Supreme Court Declines To Review $33 Million Tobacco Verdict
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).



Florida Jury Renders Defense Verdict In Tobacco Suit
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.).



Tobacco Company Appeals $806,000 Verdict In Tobacco Suit
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.).



Florida Appeals Panel Upholds Summary Judgment In Engle Progeny Suit
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).



New York State Asks Appeals Court To Uphold $247M Tobacco Verdict
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.).



Ohio High Court Won't Review Asbestos-Tobacco Expert Causation Testimony Case
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.).



Man Injured By Exploding E-Cigarette Battery Files Suit In Kansas Court
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.).



Illinois Federal Judge Denies Summary Judgment In Mark Cancellation Dispute
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).



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).



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.).



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).



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.).



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).



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 [ee]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).



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).



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.).



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.).



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).



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.).



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.).



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).



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).



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.).



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.).



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.).