Cases & Deals

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

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On November 14, 2016, following 10 days of trial, a jury in Naples, Florida returned a complete defense verdict for Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a personal injury action. The plaintiff in Kloppenburg, a former smoker, claimed that she 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, and sought $8.9 million in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages. After nearly three hours of deliberations, the jury found that Ms. Kloppenburg’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations because she knew, or should have known in the exercise of reasonable care, that she had COPD caused by smoking prior to May 5, 1990.

Kloppenburg v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 10-CA-6472 (Fla. 20th Cir.)