Cases & Deals

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

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On February 10, 2015, following six days of trial, a jury in Jacksonville, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a personal injury action. The plaintiff in Hecht was a former smoker who asserted claims for strict liability, negligence, fraudulent concealment, and conspiracy, and sought compensatory and punitive damages. He argued that he 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 therefore entitled to the benefit of certain generalized findings made by a jury in the course of the Engle class action trial. After approximately four hours of deliberation, the jury returned a complete defense verdict for Reynolds, finding that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

William Hecht v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., Case No. 3:09-cv-11228 (M.D. Fla., Jacksonville Division)