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Florida Tobacco Lawsuits not Finished Yet

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Miami, FLTobacco companies recently received rulings in two major cases that might have their executives celebrating, but they should hold off the festivities for a while.

Both rulings leave the door open for major lawsuits and there is still at least one large potential class action suit before a federal judge. Despite a Florida tobacco class action being thrown out and a failure to make tobacco companies pay for anti-smoking programs, tobacco companies could still wind up paying big bucks in future lawsuits.

florida cigarette classactionOn July 6, 2006, the Florida Supreme Court dismissed a major case against tobacco makers. This class action lawsuit threatened to cost the companies $145 billion in damages. In its decision, the Florida Supreme Court said that the $145 billion award would "result in an unlawful crippling of defendant companies."

Meanwhile, in August of this year a federal judge ruled that U.S. cigarette makers, including Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds and British American Tobacco, violated anti-racketeering laws. They did so by claiming that low-tar brands were healthier alternatives to the full-flavored cigarettes. In her ruling, Judge Kessler chastised tobacco companies for marketing their products "with deception, with a single-minded focus on their financial success, and without regard for the human tragedy or social costs that success exacted."

Despite this ruling, some anti-smoking activists believe tobacco companies won because the judge did not order the companies to fund programs to help smokers kick their habit. The government was seeking money from tobacco companies to fund such programs and reduce youth smoking. Judge Kessler denied the funding because she does not have the authority to order such a program.

Initially, the government's claim against tobacco companies was $280 billion. By the end of the trial, the claim was reduced to $14 billion. This reduction was the result of numerous court decisions that weakened the case against the tobacco industry. One such decision saw the Court of Appeals throw out the $280 billion claim, stating that the government could only prevent future violations of the racketeering act.

In a response to the ruling, William V. Corr, Executive Director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, called for Congress to take action against the tobacco industry. "It is time for Congress to finally end the special protection accorded the tobacco industry and pass this legislation, which would grant the FDA authority to crack down on marketing and sales to children, stop the tobacco companies from misleading consumers and require changes in tobacco products to make them less harmful and less addictive," he said.

However, tobacco companies still face many threats. The Florida decision in Engle allows for individual lawsuits to be filed against cigarette makers. Some law firms in Florida expect more than 100,000 cases to be filed.

There is also a large potential class action suit before a federal judge. This suit claims companies deliberately lied about the health risks of low-tar cigarettes. Plaintiffs in this suit are seeking $120 billion in damages. This suit will likely be helped by Judge Kessler's decision that tobacco companies violated anti-racketeering laws.

Tobacco companies have clearly lied about the risks associated with smoking cigarettes. Thousands of people have had their lives torn apart thanks to these lies. Tobacco companies have targeted children in their ads and have misled consumers for far too long. It's time these companies were held accountable for their actions.

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Florida Tobacco Legal Resources

If you or someone you know is a Florida resident and has suffered from the effects of cigarette smoke, please file your [Florida Tobacco] complaint with a lawyer for a free case evaluation.

READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
you are lucky if you got some money from trust fund. i have emprezema copd cancer under tongue and cancer in bladder all my doctors said tobacco smoking caused all my health problems.i cant seem to get a lawyer to file my lawsuit how can i file lawsuit in 215 indivisual or get on class action

Posted by

on
I am a fl resident for over 22 years. I still have both state reg, for myself. Ct and Fl. and hope to live again in Fl full time, I was as well inflicted by the hurricane then,

In 2008 others called me from Fl and told me of the suit that was being done for anyone that had effect of tobacco smoking in 1993, which I did, so I put my file in, it got there late and I was only allowed to be then in the trust fund, not the individual suit. We were granted about nine thousand dollars.

My heart being in bad shape and caused by smoking tobacco. I did stop a long time ago and thought I get better as it is written in heart associations and others who say it will clear up. This i found out this year seems to be not so .

They found a spot on my lung and it turn to be cancer it was the type of cancer caused by tobacco smoking, I was so taken back and went for a operation which was the most painful operation I had in my life. and almost died as well. I did have a bad time of it all.

I had it done about four months ago and they found it about five months before and then after test and all sort of things they did a operation on me,

I want the tobacco company to pay for the suffering, time and life of my own i did lose and money , for smoking a product that was and is harmful to me and others. They know it yet place it on the market to harm us, I lacked knowledge of this product and started to smoke when i was 16 year old and now 68 and stop a time ago. for my heart and it did not help me. I was in shock when I found out that I had this cancer and I do not feel well yet and will be tested again soon, I am so upset at the company and did not know the knowledge of smoking till later and did and seek it all out as I was so so addicted to the tobacco. and fight not to do the same.
it is a product that hooks you in and keep you there, I had to have help to get me off of cigarettes.

I would like you to help me and take this case and go after a company of harmful product that hurt my life and caused me to be upset and pain and suffer and loss of my lung and heart bad and all from it, and i did not know if at all till 2008 when I found out more of it Thur the Engels trust fund, my quality of life is shot and I resent the fact that a company knowing it would ever have put out a product that would harm you and worse of all get you so addicted to it. while its nicotine would poison one, mind body spirit and soul. which it did to me and I am still suffering from it, can you please help me with my case. thank you.

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