11th Circ. Won't Undo $41M Verdict For Engle Smoker

Law360 (March 24, 2020, 9:27 PM EDT) -- The Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday rejected bids by Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds to ax $15.8 million in compensatory damages and $25.3 million in punitive damages awarded to a smoker in an Engle case, finding that the verdict amount wasn't unconstitutionally excessive.

The panel rejected the tobacco companies’ arguments that the jury’s 2014 verdict was inflamed by passion or prejudice, instead finding that the compensatory damages award was consistent with the evidence that Kenneth Kerrivan presented at trial. The panel also said that Kerrivan’s damages award wasn’t unconstitutional, as the tobacco companies knew about the risks of smoking but denied them....

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