Reynolds Choose Engle legal case to Come before U.S. Supreme Court

Published on January 4th, 2012 00:00

Reynolds American has selected one Engle legal case to come before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Engle progeny cases have been carefully examined since they appeared after Florida Supreme Court decision in 2006, which decertified a class action suit primarily filed by Howard Engle.


The 2006 ruling permitted one-time class members to put in an individual lawsuit declaring that tobacco products caused their respective diseases. The cases include consumers who lighted up before the law took effect demanding health graphic warnings placed on cigarette packages. In the majority of Engle suits, the prosecutor carries particular responsibility for diseases or death, which decreases back-to-back and penal sanctions to producers. Reynolds representative declared in October that it would come with a demand before the court in order to help specify the company’s and probably the industry’s financial exposure.

As the legal website Law360 states, Reynolds has filed a petition for order of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, requiring it to revoke a $28.3 million jury award in Florida in favor of Mathilde Martin, whose husband, died of lung cancer after smoking within many years unfiltered Lucky Strike cigarettes.

Reynolds representative Bryan Hatchell declared these days that the company did not have any comment about the filing. The Florida Supreme Court refused to accept Reynolds’ address of the jury final verdict. “We believe that the jury verdict was reached without any defendant, who would either prove the main elements of her claims or demonstrate that the former jury had in fact proclaimed the verdict in her favor,” Reynolds representative said in a petition. As there were several victories by plaintiffs and producers at lower inferior court levels, Reynolds is sure the U.S. Supreme Court will comply with the request.

Currently Reynolds declared that it has placed a combined $63 million into accumulation for the five Engle cases that have forwarded through the Court of Appeal. Reynolds revenue has been affected by highest court taxes for two consecutive quarters. “The main aim of our policy is to detect any litigation loss when an unfavorable output in any particular case becomes possible and the amount can be calculated in accordance with internationally adopted accounting principles,” Thomas Adams, Reynolds’ chief financial spokesman stated in an interview.

Reynolds representative Bryan Hatchell underlined that Reynolds has not paid any degree of breakdown toward the Engle cases and does not plan to until the company has settled all legal avenues. Bonnie Herzog, general manager for beverage and tobacco research for Wells Fargo Securities LLC, has stated she hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court will examine at least one of the cases. She forecasts that the court will probably be in favor of manufacturers.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved.

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