February 15, 2019

"Philip Morris Seeks New Trial after 'Grossly Excessive' Verdict"

Law 360 reports on the latest skirmish over punitive damages in the long-running Florida smoker litigation. 

After a jury awarded $6 million in compensatory damages and $21 million in punitive damages, the trial court vacated the punitive damages award because, although the plaintiff alleged fraudulent conduct, she presented no evidence of reliance on any of the alleged misinformation.  The Eleventh Circuit reversed, ruling that Florida law does not require smokers to prove reliance on any specific fraudulent statement.  So now Philip Morris is back in the district court, arguing that the punitive damages award is excessive.  Either way the court rules, the case is likely to end up back before the Eleventh Circuit.