Cases & Deals

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

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On November 5, 2014, after almost three weeks of trial, a state court jury in Orlando, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The plaintiff in Bishop, acting as personal representative for her deceased husband, asserted claims for strict liability, negligence, fraudulent concealment, and conspiracy. She argued that her husband, who died at age 51 following a diagnosis of lung cancer, was a member of the class decertified by the Florida Supreme Court in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006), and that she was therefore entitled to the benefit of certain generalized findings made by a jury in the course of the Engle class action trial in 1999. The plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages. The jury deliberated approximately 3.5 hours before returning a complete defense verdict for R.J. Reynolds on all claims. This was the first defense verdict for the tobacco industry in any Engle progeny case tried to a jury in either state or federal court in Orlando.

Annie Bishop v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 07-CA-4445-10-W (Fla. Cir. Ct., Seminole Cty., FL)