Press release from Business Wire
Jury Verdict for Philip Morris USA in Duval County Engle Case
Monday, October 04, 2010
Jury Verdict for Philip Morris USA in Duval County Engle Case15:35 EDT Monday, October 04, 2010 RICHMOND, Va. (Business Wire) -- A Duval County jury today returned a verdict in favor of Philip Morris USA in an Engle case (Warrick). The first trial in this case resulted in a mistrial in August. “The jury's finding shows once again that Philip Morris USA still has powerful defenses in these cases, even when, in violation of Florida law and due process, the trial court allows plaintiffs to rely on a prior jury's general findings instead of proving the individual facts of their case,” said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of Philip Morris USA. "We believe that this jury reached the correct result, and we will vigorously defend each individual Engle case that goes to trial.” The verdict came in the trial of a so-called Engle progeny case following a 2006 Florida Supreme Court decision that decertified a class action but allowed former class action members to file individual lawsuits and rely on general findings from the first class action. Recently, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals severely restricted the ability of plaintiffs in the federal cases to use findings from the prior Engle jury to meet their burden of proof at trial. Neither the plaintiff here nor any of the other plaintiffs in state courts have complied with the requirements set forth by this ruling. The case is Warrick v. RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris USA.