June 24, 2014

Florida jury awards $14 million in punitive damages to smoker's family

Here's the latest verdict in the on-going series of post-Engle tobacco trials in Florida.  The Palm Beach Post reports that a jury in West Palm Beach has awarded $14 million in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds, in a lawsuit brought by the daughter of a smoker who died of lung cancer.  

The wide range of results in this cases is a stark illustration of the inherently arbitrary nature of punitive damages.  The plaintiffs' arguments for punitive damages in these cases are practically identical.  Many of the juries hearing these arguments have awarded no punitive damages, while other juries have awarded tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.  

Related posts:

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