Cases & Deals

R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Coursey "Engle progeny" trial

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On August 25, 2016, following nine days of trial, a jury in Deland, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a personal injury action. The plaintiff in Coursey, the daughter of a deceased former smoker, claimed that her late mother 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. Plaintiff asserted claims for strict liability, negligence, fraudulent concealment, and conspiracy. She sought compensatory damages for herself and her brother as well as punitive damages. After approximately forty-five minutes of deliberations, the jury returned a complete defense verdict, finding that Ms. Coursey's mother was not a member of the decertified Engle class.

Coursey ex rel. Fredenhagen v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2013-30656-CICI (Fla. 7th Cir.)