Verdicts & Settlements

Tobacco companies agree to pay $100M to settle federal suits in Florida

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Three tobacco companies have agreed to pay $100 million to resolve more than 400 federal lawsuits in Florida seeking compensation for illnesses and deaths caused by smoking.

Altria Group’s Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. will each pay $42.5 million, while Lorillard will pay $15 million, report Reuters, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and a press release by Motley Rice. Name partner Joe Rice served as lead negotiator for the plaintiffs.

Still unresolved are more than 3,000 tobacco suits pending in state court, the Wall Street Journal says.

The cases were filed in state and federal courts after the Florida Supreme Court refused to allow a smoking case to proceed as a class action. The decision overturned a $145 billion award to the class. The name plaintiff in that suit was Howard Engle, and the cases filed after decertification became known as the Engle cases.

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