Cases & Deals

R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Baker ''Engle progeny'' lawsuit

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On September 19, 2012, after three weeks of trial, a state court jury in West Palm Beach, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a wrongful death case. The plaintiff in Baker was the widow of a man who had smoked cigarettes for more than 40 years, continued to smoke after his diagnosis and radiation treatment, and died of lung cancer. R.J. Reynolds stipulated that smoking was a cause of his lung cancer and death. The jury found that the smoker was addicted and that addiction was a cause of his death, which plaintiff claimed entitled her to the benefit of certain generalized findings made by the jury in the decertified former class action in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006). The jury deliberated only one hour and ten minutes before returning a complete defense verdict on plaintiff's claims for negligence, product defect, fraudulent concealment, and conspiracy.

Shirley B. Baker v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Case No. 50 2007 CA 020247XXXX MB AG (15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Cty., Fla.)