11th Circuit Reinstates $27 Million Verdict for Injured Smoker Against Phillip Morris in Florida Tobacco Litigation

2018 Berger Tobacco Lawsuit

In 2014, Lieff Cabraser won a trial verdict against Philip Morris on behalf of injured smoker Judith Berger, who started using cigarettes at age 14. The jury awarded compensation in the amount of $6.25 million, then added an additional $20 million in punitive damages against the cigarette maker. Thereafter, the trial judge substantially undercut the claims at the defendants’ urging, reducing the compensatory award to $3.75 million and eliminating the punitive damages award. Philip Morris further appealed the reduced damages award, claiming falsely that plaintiffs’ counsel had characterized the tobacco industry as “pedophiles” to the jury. [Read more…]

Kenneth Byrd in Nashville Scene on Big Tobacco Sponsorship of Schools

Kenneth Byrd Quoted in Nashville Scene on Tobacco Sponsorship of Schools

The Nashville Scene reports that cigarette giant Phillip Morris, now known as Altria, will be the founding sponsor of the 7th Annual Academies of Nashville gala, an event put on by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce honoring teachers and principals, and recognizing partnerships between business and schools. [Read more…]

Jury Returns $27 Million Verdict Against Philip Morris in Florida Tobacco Litigation

tobacco philip morris litigation

A federal court jury in Florida has awarded Judith Berger $27,010,000.14 in damages in a lawsuit against Philip Morris USA Inc. Mrs. Berger began smoking in 1958 when she was 14 years old and was smoking a pack a day by age 16. Evidence was shown at trial that 90 percent of daily cigarette smokers start smoking as teenagers and the tobacco industry targets youth in their advertisements for this very reason. The verdict included 20,760,000 dollars and 14 cents in punitive damages. [Read more…]