Florida Smokers and Engle Trust FundMay 12, 2008
The lawyers and attorneys at our firm are offering their help to Florida smokers and their families who wish to register for the Engle Trust Fund, a $600 million fund set aside by several tobacco companies to help the victims of tobacco related diseases. Registration for the Engle Trust Fund began April 25, 2008. Smokers, ex-smokers and survivors of people who have died from smoking-related diseases have until midnight on June 16, 2008 to file their claims.
The total number of people who could qualify for a payment from the Engle Trust Fund is estimated at between 10,000 and 50,000. Individuals wishing to receive compensation from the fund must not only meet the deadline, but submit appropriate and extensive documentation supporting their claims. Our Florida Tobacco injury lawyers will make sure our clients' Engle Trust Fund registrations are complete and accurate.
The Engle Trust Fund grew out of Engle vs. Liggett, a tobacco lawsuit that named Philip Morris Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Brown & Williamson, Lorillard Tobacco and Liggett Group Inc as defendants. In July 2000, a Florida jury awarded ill smokers and their families $145 billion for their smoking-related injuries. However, the Florida Supreme Court threw out the jury's verdict in 2006, deeming it excessive.
Three of the five tobacco companies involved in Engle vs. Liggett had agreed in 2001 to create the Engle Trust fund to avoid having to post a huge bond as they appealed the $145 billion verdict in the case. At that time, the companies agreed that even if the verdict were tossed out, the money would benefit sick smokers covered by the class-action case. On April 21, 2008, a Miami judge ordered the money in the Engle Trust Fund be divided equally among all Florida smokers who became ill before Nov. 21, 1996.
To be eligible for money from the trust fund, a smoker must have been a Florida resident before or on Nov. 21, 1996 and be able to document having symptoms of a cigarette-related illness before that date. Families of deceased smokers can put in claims for the money if their loved ones met the requirements, but there can only be one claim per smoker. It is vital that the claim for payment from the Engle Trust Fund be filed by the June deadline.
If you or a loved one resides in Florida and are eligible for a payment from The Engle Trust Fund, please fill out our online form or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800- 968-7529). It is important that you speak to one of our Florida tobacco injury lawyers as soon as possible to insure that you do not miss the fast-approaching deadline for registering an Engle Trust Fund claim.