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March 2, 2018

Victory for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Engle Progeny Case


Plaintiff Jewel Mobley filed a suit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company alleging that her husband, Roland Mobley, was addicted to Reynolds’ cigarettes and his addiction caused his lung cancer and death in 1993.  Mr. Mobley began smoking around age 16 and smoked approximately two packs per day until he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1993. After a three-week jury trial, a K&S team led by Ursula Henninger and Jason Keehfus obtained a victory on behalf of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Monroe County, Florida.  This was the first Engle progeny case tried in Monroe County.  On March 2, the jury returned a unanimous verdict finding that while Mr. Mobley was addicted to nicotine and his addiction caused his lung cancer and death, Mr. Mobley did not rely on any statement made by Reynolds or other tobacco companies that concealed information regarding the dangers of smoking.  The jury further found Mr. Mobley 95% at fault for causing his injuries and death and awarded his estate $0 in compensatory damages.  Finally, the jury returned a verdict for Reynolds on the question of whether plaintiff was entitled to punitive damages.