Philip Morris USA to Seek Further Review in the Douglas Case
RICHMOND, Va. -- March 14, 2013
Philip Morris USA said it plans to seek further review following today’s
decision by the Florida Supreme Court in the Douglas case. The court’s opinion
held that the current Engle progeny trial structure does not violate Florida
Law and federal due process.
“We are reviewing the court’s decision and considering all of our options,”
said Murray Garnick, senior vice president and associate general counsel,
Altria Client Services, speaking on behalf of Philip Morris USA. “We believe
that the court ruled incorrectly in allowing individual plaintiffs to use the
general findings from the prior Engle case to prove their strict liability and
negligence claims without showing that any wrongful conduct actually caused
In the dissent, Justice Canady said that the findings were “too slender [a]
reed to support the imposition of liability.” Justice Canady stated that the
majority’s analysis was “exactly backward” and that its reading of the
findings was “unreasonable” and “unconvincing” because the findings do not
establish “that all of the cigarettes sold by defendants were defective.”
The so-called Engle progeny cases stem from a 2006 Florida Supreme Court
decision that decertified a class action but allowed former class members to
file individual lawsuits and rely on general findings from the first class
The case is Douglas v. Philip Morris USA et al.
Philip Morris USA
Media Relations, 804-484-8897
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