After a four-week jury trial in Miami-Dade County, Edward H. Zebersky of Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP, along with Stuart Ratzan and Stuart Weissman of the Ratzan Law Group, secured a $17.5 Million verdict against big tobacco’s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Phillip Morris USA.
The lawsuit, The Estate of Irene Gloger v. R.J. Reynolds et al., which alleged gross negligence, fraudulent concealment, strict liability, and civil conspiracy, sought damages for a victim of tobacco’s once intentionally hidden dangers. The verdict, which included $10,000,000.00 in punitive damages, was the culmination of a seven year battle.
“We’re thrilled to have been able to bring some closure to the Gloger family. We hope that this verdict will deter all industries from violating the most basic produce safety rule: do not manufacture and mass market a product that causes harm. This verdict also speaks volumes that violation of this basic rule will not be tolerated by the South Florida community” said Edward H. Zebersky of Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP.
This lawsuit was the result of the groundbreaking “Engle” class action, which helped uncover a 45-year-old conspiracy between the tobacco industry to hide not only the harmful effects of smoking but also that “nicotine” the drug in cigarettes, is addictive.
“It is simply unbelievable to listen to the evidence showing how the tobacco companies hatched a conspiracy to lie to the American public to keep them smoking, and resulting in the death of one in two daily smokers,” said Zebersky.