MIAMI — Dr. Howard Engle, the Miami Beach pediatrician whose cheap tobacco lawsuit resulted in the largest punitive damage award in U.S. history, has died at age 89.
Engle’s attorney Stanley Rosenblatt said he was in declining health for years from smoking-related ailments. Engle died Wednesday at his home.
Engle made U.S. legal history in 2000 when a Miami jury awarded $145 billion in punitive damages againstmarlboro-cigarette companies in Engle’s class-action lawsuit. The Florida Supreme Court later overturned that verdict as excessive, ruling that thousands of smokers covered by the Engle case must prove damages individually. Those cases are currently being tried across Florida.
Rosenblatt said Engle had a thriving pediatric practice for decades in Miami Beach.
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