Tobacco Ruling by Florida Supreme Court Opens Door to Individual Victims' Tobacco Cases
Tobacco companies may have breathed a sigh of relief on July 6, 2006, when the Florida Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision to reject a $145 billion verdict awarded in a class-action lawsuit filed against the nation’s largest tobacco companies by up to 700,000 Floridians who were victims of smoking-related disease or death. While the ruling means that the tobacco companies will not be obligated to pay this award, it does open the door to allow individual smokers to proceed with filing their own claims.
Additionally, the Supreme Court upheld the trial jury’s finding that tobacco companies intentionally misled the public about the dangers and addictive nature of cigarettes, and that smoking does cause certain diseases, including lung cancer and coronary heart disease. This ruling provides a powerful legal weapon for attorneys to wield on behalf of their clients.
In their ruling (click here for link to document), the Florida Supreme Court upheld a verdict that:
- Cigarettes are unreasonably dangerous
- Cigarettes cause numerous types of illness and disease
- Nicotine in cigarettes is addictive
- Knowing of these dangers, tobacco companies intentionally attempted to mislead consumers about the negative health effects and addictive nature of cigarettes.
Individuals eligible to be considered for filing a lawsuit must have been a Florida resident as of November 21, 1996, and had been diagnosed with smoking-related illnesses as of the same date. Cases must be filed with the court within one year from this ruling--the time to act is now.
Illnesses that the court has designated as smoking-related include:
- Various types of cancer
- Aortic aneurysm
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Coronary heart disease
- Peripheral vascular disease, and
- Complications of pregnancy
Cohen has assembled a team, including lawyers, medical experts, investigators, and support personnel, who are willing to work hard to pursue justice for you and your family. We believe that the financial arrogance of Big Tobacco should not be enough to prevail in the American Justice System. This is a legal and medical battle, and Barry A. Cohen and his team are ready to strive to make it a fair fight.
If you or your loved one meets the eligibility requirements above, please Tell Us About Your Case.
Read the Florida Supreme Court Ruling: Engle vs. Liggett Group, Inc.