Miami, FL (PRWEB) October 2, 2007
Big Tobacco has suffered two major losses in its ongoing defense of hundreds of individual smokers' claims filed against it in the state of Florida.
First, in the $1 billion law suit filed by J.B. Harris on behalf of Gloria Tucker against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and others, the tobacco companies conceded that in cases where cigarette makers, Liggett Group, LLC and Vector Group, Ltd., are also named as defendants, these cases must be brought in Florida state court, rather than in federal court, since the federal courts have no jurisdiction over these companies. Earlier the tobacco giants had tried to remove Tucker's case to the United States District Court in Miami (07-21740-Civ-Gold).
Second, the United States Supreme Court has rejected its petition for relief from the Florida Supreme Court's landmark ruling in the case of Engle v. Liggett (Reynolds v. Engle, 06-1545). Handed down last year, the Engle decision upheld a jury's findings that tobacco companies had committed fraud, were negligent and concealed the addictive nature of smoking from consumers in order to sell more cigarettes. For Floridians harmed by cigarettes, they now need only prove that smoking caused their own illnesses in order to recover damages. Estimates indicate that between 700,000 and 1,000,000 qualified Florida smokers currently have the right to sue for justice and compensation.
While the war against Big Tobacco is far from over, these are two are huge victories for victims who have suffered or died from smoking related illnesses.
For more information contact J.B. Harris, P.A. at http://www.suebigtobacco.net