Posts tagged: Florida

Florida must close loophole in tobacco tax

Tweet Our state lawmakers will soon have to make incredibly difficult decisions to address Florida’s unprecedented budget crisis. In times like these, funding for critical services like health care may face drastic reductions. Important legislation that would close the notorious “Non-Participating Manufacturers loophole” in Florida’s tobacco policy would help remedy our budget shortfall. The 1997 Florida Tobacco Settlement ... Jump to full article >>

Is Big Tobacco Turning a Corner in Florida Smoking Litigation?

Tweet Earlier this month, LB colleague Nathan Koppel wrote a story about tobacco litigation in Florida. While in much of the nation, Koppel wrote, smoking-related litigation has reduced to its embers, in Florida it’s on fire, largely due to a 2006 ruling from the Florida Supreme Court. In that case, the Florida Supreme Court decided that the factual findings made by the jury in a case involving a plaintiff named Howard Engle would be binding in ... Jump to full article >>

Court looks at tobacco appeal

Tweet A group of Florida smokers asked a federal appeals court Tuesday not to force each of them to prove that smoking causes illness in the thousands of individual lawsuits moving through federal court. Such a ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals would mean that the more than 4,000 plaintiffs wouldn’t need extensive — and costly — expert testimony to prove to each jury that their nicotine addiction caused lung cancer and ... Jump to full article >>

Ex-smoker drops Philip Morris lawsuit for $1,000

Tweet Cigarette maker Philip Morris USA’s bag of defenses against thousands of smoker lawsuits in Florida may include the fear of having to pay the company’s legal fees. Yesterday, a former smoker in Florida dropped his lawsuit against the Henrico County-based tobacco company and took a $1,000 settlement instead. The plaintiff, Jerome Cohen, accepted the settlement after only two days of trial in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. His attorney, Ph ... Jump to full article >>

Plaintiffs Lawyer in $300 Million Florida Smoking Suit: ‘The Jury Was Impressed by the Numbers’

Tweet The record, so far, hasn’t been very good for the tobacco companies in the so-called Engle progeny smoker suits. They’ve won, by our count, just two of the ten cases to go to trial, and the damages awards have been climbing. The first Engle progeny trial resulted in an $8 million verdict against Philip Morris in February. In August, R.J. Reynolds lost a $30 million verdict. And on Thursday, a Broward County jury ordered Philip M ... Jump to full article >>

Scholars’ Right to Keep Unpublished Work Private Is at Issue in Lawsuit

Tweet In a case with potentially major implications for scholars and publishers, a Stanford University professor who often serves as an expert witness against tobacco companies is fighting an effort by lawyers for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to obtain the manuscript of his unpublished and unfinished book on that industry. A Florida state court judge has already authorized the tobacco company’s lawyers to issue a subpoena requiring Ro ... Jump to full article >>

A heavier cost to lighting up

Tweet SARASOTA – Of all the impediments thrown at smokers over the years, the one that arrives today could have one of the biggest impacts. Florida’s cigarette tax, long among the nation’s lowest, in keeping with its Southern neighbors, is rising by $1 per pack. Combined with a 62-cent-per-pack federal increase that took effect just 12 weeks ago, cigarettes in Florida are now pushing $6 per pack — a price that is proving ... Jump to full article >>