Cases & Deals

R.J. Reynolds wins complete defense verdict in Russell wrongful death lawsuit

Client(s) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

On January 25, 2019 after a trial lasting 15 days, a jury in Lakeland, Florida returned a complete defense verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a wrongful death action. In the case, the plaintiff claimed Mr. McCain was a member of the class of smokers decertified by the Florida Supreme Court in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006). He asserted claims for strict liability, negligence, fraudulent concealment, and conspiracy. There were seven children who had individual claims for pain and suffering and loss of companionship and support, all of which were submitted to the jury. The plaintiff sought compensatory damages in the total amount of $18 million on their behalf and unspecified punitive damages. After deliberating 90 minutes, the jury returned a complete defense verdict for R.J. Reynolds on all claims.

Garold E. Russell, Personal Representative for the Estate of Robert Eugene McCain, Sr. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, No. 2010-CA-005234-0000-00 (Fla. 10th Cir.)