Online Program

Engle progeny litigation in Florida: 2009-2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Edward L. Sweda Jr., JD, Public Health Advocacy Institute, Boston, MA
Lissy C. Friedman, JD, Public Health Advocacy Institute, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA
From February 2009 through December 2012, there have been 72 Engle Progeny trials that have reached a verdict. 49 of those verdicts (or more than 68%) have been for the smokers and their families rather than for the tobacco company defendants. I will provide background on the original Engle class action lawsuit, which was filed in 1994, and underscore the importance of the Florida Supreme Court's 2006 ruling, which allowed those who had been part of the class of plaintiffs to proceed with their own individual cases. I will highlight some of the largest multi-million dollar plaintiff verdicts, as well as some critical appellate rulings following those trials. Similarly, I will discuss issues that have yet to be decided on appeal and the fears of Reynolds American attorneys who foresee the possibility of "massive liability... with no end in sight" for their client. Realizing that non-lawyers will constitute a large portion of the intended audience, I will provide a powerpoint presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify trends in jurors' reaction to learning the details about tobacco industry misconduct. Analyze the tobacco companies "blame-the-victim" approach to litigation and compare it with the companies' public relations claims.

Keyword(s): Tobacco Litigation, Tobacco Industry

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered