Florida Court Ruling Grants Smoking Victims an Opportunity to File Individual Claims Against Cigarette Manufacturers; Parker & Waichman, LLP Offering Free Case Analysis to Florida Residents Injured by Cigarette SmokingJul 14, 2006 | PrimeZone On July 6, 2006, the Florida Supreme Court threw out a class action verdict of $145 billion against the defendants, but upheld two multimillion-dollar individual damage awards to Florida smoking victims. The court ruled that smoking cases are highly individual, making class action suits inappropriate, but said individual claims can be brought against cigarette manufacturers. While the tobacco industry has tried to spin this decision as an overwhelming victory, it is probably the most damaging written court decision on record against the tobacco industry. The court also approved many important findings that confirm the link between smoking and life-threatening diseases and that hold the tobacco companies responsible for withholding the dangers of smoking.
The defendants in the class action case were: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, a division of Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI); Philip Morris, a division of Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO); Liggett Group, a division of Vector Group, Ltd. (NYSE: VGR) and Lorrillard Tobacco, a division of Loews Corporation (NYSE: LTR & NYSE: CG).
Parker & Waichman, LLP believes that tobacco companies should be held responsible for causing the deaths and illnesses of Florida residents. If you were a Florida resident on or before November 21, 1996 and suffered from a smoking-related disease before November 20, 1996, or if a loved one suffered and is deceased, please visit our section on florida tobacco lawsuits and http://www.floridasmokingvictims.com or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a free lawsuit case evaluation.
In its ruling, the Florida Supreme Court ratified many important findings of the lower courts, which clearly illustrate the dangers of cigarette smoking and the intentional conduct of the tobacco industry. This may result in the liability of the tobacco companies to individuals who fall into categories as outlined by the court. The court ruling means that any new case filed in Florida on behalf of a person who was a resident on or before November 21, 1996, and who suffered from one of the enumerated diseases or medical conditions noted in No. 1 below, can commence his/her suit with the following claims already proven:
1 (that smoking cigarettes causes aortic aneurysm, bladder
cancer, cerebrovascular disease, cervical cancer, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease,
esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, laryngeal cancer, lung
cancer (specifically, adenocarinoma, large cell carcinoma,
small cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma),
complications of pregnancy, oral cavity/tongue cancer,
pancreatic cancer, peripheral vascular disease, pharyngeal
cancer, and stomach cancer),
2 (that nicotine in cigarettes is addictive),
3 That the defendants placed cigarettes on the market that were
defective and unreasonably dangerous),
4 (a) (that the defendants concealed or omitted material
information not otherwise known or available knowing that the
material was false or misleading or failed to disclose a
material fact concerning the health effects or addictive nature
of smoking cigarettes or both),
5 (that all of the defendants agreed to misrepresent information
relating to the health effects of cigarettes or the addictive
nature of cigarettes with the intention that smokers and the
public would rely on this information to their detriment),
5(a) (that the defendants agreed to conceal or omit information
regarding the health effects of cigarettes or their addictive
nature with the intention that smokers and the public would rely
on this information to their detriment),
6 (that all of the defendants sold or supplied cigarettes that
were defective), and
8 (that all of the defendants were negligent). Therefore, these
findings in favor of the Engle Class can stand.
Parker & Waichman, LLP has already been contacted by hundreds of Florida residents seeking representation for smoking-related injuries. The firm is currently evaluating these cases and anticipates filing individual claims on behalf of Florida smoking victims over the next few months. All Florida tobacco claims will be filed by Parker & Waichman, LLP and its co-counsel, Hannon & Boyers, P.A., a leading personal injury law firm located in Miami, Florida.
About Parker & Waichman, LLP
Parker & Waichman, LLP is a leading products liability and personal injury law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. The firm has offices in New York and New Jersey. Parker & Waichman, LLP has assisted thousands of clients in receiving fair compensation for injuries resulting from defective products, medications and medical devices. For more information on Parker & Waichman, LLP please visit: www.yourlawyer.com or call (800) YOURLAWYER.
CONTACT: Parker & Waichman, LLP
Jason Mark, Esq., FBN 956783
Melanie H. Muhlstock, Esq.
(800) 968-7529, Toll-free