R.J. Reynolds wins new trial in "Engle progeny" lawsuit
Clients R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Sitting en banc, Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal recently granted rehearing and reversed a judgment in the amount of $16.1 million in compensatory damages (awarded jointly and severally against all four defendants), $29.85 million in punitive damages against Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Lorillard Tobacco Company (which have since merged), and $25 million in punitive damages against the other two defendants. The en banc court concluded that the trial court had abused its discretion in failing to restrain plaintiff's counsel from making improper attacks on defendants during closing argument and had erred in instructing the jury on the element of detrimental reliance. The case was tried by another law firm, then transferred to Jones Day for the appeal.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Calloway, No, 4D12-3337 (Fla. 4th DCA Sept. 23, 2016) (en banc)