R.J. Reynolds appeals rulings in smoking and health case to Florida appellate court and U.S. Supreme Court
Clients R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
In this smoking-and-health case, Jones Day secured a defense verdict for R.J. Reynolds at trial on all of the plaintiffs' claims except the claim for design defect strict liability, for which the plaintiff-smoker was awarded only $165,000 and the plaintiff-spouse recovered nothing. After a trial team succeeded in defeating most of the claims, Jones Day represented R.J. Reynolds in appealing the jury award of $165,000 for strict liability on a defective design theory. The petition for certiorari argued that the Florida court's ruling was contrary to the Supreme Court's FDA decision, which established that a cigarette manufacturer cannot be held liable for the simple act of manufacturing cigarettes. The Court declined certiorari. Jones Day also helped brief an appeal in the Florida District Court of Appeals, challenging an award of over $1,000,000 in attorneys' fees on the ground that it is contrary to Florida's offer-of-judgment statute and the Federal Constitution's Due Process Clause.
Kenyon v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Nos. 2D04-2138, 2D04-2747 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App.); R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Kenyon, No. 03-687, 540 U.S. 1161 (2004)