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Philip Morris Urges Florida High Court to Toss Tobacco Precedent

Dec. 11, 2020, 10:59 PM

Philip Morris USA Inc. joined R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Inc. in asking the Florida Supreme Court to overturn an important precedent and stop trial courts from treating earlier jury findings about tobacco companies’ conduct as preclusive in ongoing product liability litigation.

This appeal by a smoker’s estate is part of litigation that arose following decertification of a Florida smokers’ class in Engle v. Liggett Group Inc. A jury in Engle found significant liability-related facts about tobacco company conduct that the Florida Supreme Court allowed to be given “res judicata effect” in subsequent individual suits by former class members.

The high court’s ...