The United States Supreme Court today in the Douglas case denied a request from Philip Morris USA (PM USA) and other tobacco companies to review the constitutionality of the trial structure being used in the Engle progeny cases in Florida.
“Today’s decision does not diminish our ability to put forth a vigorous defense,” said Murray Garnick, senior vice president and associate general counsel, Altria Client Services, speaking on behalf of PM USA. “We have strong legal and factual defenses and remain committed to defending ourselves in each of these cases.”
“Although we are disappointed by the decision, we will continue to challenge the constitutionality of these trials as appropriate,” added Garnick. “Even under the current rulings, we have demonstrated our ability to manage these cases over the last five years. Not only has a substantial number of cases been dismissed or otherwise resolved before trial, but juries have returned verdicts in favor of PM USA in approximately half of its cases tried to verdict.”
The so-called Engle progeny cases stem from a 2006 Florida Supreme Court decision that decertified a class action but allowed former class members to file individual lawsuits and rely on general findings from the first class action.The case is Douglas v. Philip Morris USA et al.
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