Cases & Deals

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

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On March 8, 2016, following an 11-day trial and less than one hour of deliberation, a jury in Jacksonville, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in an "Engle progeny" lawsuit. Although the jury determined that the smoker qualified as a member of the Engle class, the jury ultimately found that addiction was not a legal cause of the smoker's lung cancer and death.

The plaintiff was the personal representative of her deceased husband, who had smoked cigarettes manufactured by American Tobacco Company and Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation. The plaintiff argued that her husband 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 he 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. She asserted claims for strict liability, negligence, fraudulent concealment, conspiracy, and punitive damages, and sought over 10 million dollars in compensatory damages. The plaintiff claimed damages for her husband's lung cancer and death, and claimed he was a member of the Engle class based on his COPD.

Gamble v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 16-2014-CA-003848-XXXX-M (Fla. 4th Cir.)