News & Insights

Cases & Deals

August 28, 2019

R.J. Reynolds Has $42 Million Judgment Reversed

King & Spalding won a unanimous victory for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) in the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, reversing a $42 million judgment in an Engle progeny case.  The case originated in Broward County.  In an opinion that gained wide notoriety in the trade press, the Court of Appeal ruled that the trial court erred when it prevented Reynolds from defending liability by arguing that the sole legal cause of the deceased smoker’s injuries was her decision to continue smoking.  The opinion was widely cheered by the industry, as it broadly vindicated Engle defendants’ right to fully defend liability.  Pending a request for rehearing or further review by the plaintiff, the case will be remanded to the trial court for a new trial on all issues.