A Palm Beach County jury today decided in favor of Philip Morris USA and
other tobacco companies in an Engle case (Weingart). The
decision today marks the eighth win for the company in the last 12 Engle
cases to go to trial.
In this case, the jury rejected all but one of the plaintiff's claims.
On that claim, the jury found plaintiff 91% at fault and declined to
award any damages.
"We believe that the jury appropriately rejected awarding the plaintiff
any damages," said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice
president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of Philip
Morris USA. "We continue to believe that the trial courts are violating
Florida law and due process in these cases by allowing the plaintiffs to
rely on general findings from a previous jury with no connection to the
specific circumstances of these cases."
"Although the jury refused to award any damages, the due process
violation is directly responsible for the single claim that the jury
found in favor of the plaintiff," Garnick added. "As with each Engle
trial, Philip Morris USA continues to vigorously defend itself."
Today's verdict came in a trial of a so-called Engle progeny case
following a 2006 Florida Supreme Court decision that decertified a class
action but allowed former class action members to file individual
lawsuits and rely on general findings from the first class action.
Today's decision came in Weingart v. RJ Reynolds et al.
ALCS Media Relations