Bonita Springs, New York (PRWEB) March 01, 2012
Alex Alvarez of the Alvarez Law Firm, Gary Paige of the Paige Law Firm, and Jordan Chaikin, a partner with Parker Waichman LLP, announce that a Dade County, Florida jury has awarded Dorothy Alexander $20 million against Lorillard Tobacco Company for the wrongful death of her husband, Coleman Alexander. Mr. Alexander died in 1995 as a result of small cell lung cancer, the result of a more 40-year addiction to cigarettes, including Kent brand cigarettes manufactured by Lorillard. Mrs. Alexander's lawsuit was heard in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida, General Jurisdiction Division (Case No. 07-46830-CA01).
"I’m very proud of Dorothy Alexander who is a retired nurse and who had the courage to take on the oldest tobacco company in the United States," attorney Alex Alvarez said after the jury delivered its verdict.
The Alexander lawsuit was one of thousands of Florida tobacco claims to come out of the so-called Engle case, a large class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Florida citizens who suffered from smoking-related illnesses in 1994. In 2000, a jury returned a verdict for the Engle plaintiffs, including $145 billion in punitive damages. But in 2004, an appellate court overturned the jury’s decision and reversed the award. In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the appellate court decision and de-certified the class. However, the Supreme Court ruled that members of the original suit would be allowed to file individual lawsuits against tobacco companies.
Under the standard required by the Florida Supreme Court’s Engle decision, the Plaintiff needed to prove that Mr. Alexander was addicted to cigarettes containing nicotine and that nicotine addiction was a legal cause of his death. According to Mrs. Alexander's attorneys, the Dade County jury agreed that Mr. Alexander had, in fact, been addicted to nicotine, and had died as a result of that addiction. The jury also agreed that the Defendent's negligence, the defective and unreasonably dangerous cigarettes they marketed, and Mr. Alexander's reasonable reliance on statements made by Lorillard that omitted material information regarding the health and safety of those cigarettes, were all legal causes of his death, according to the Plaintiff's attorneys.
According to his wife's lawyers, the jurors found that Lorillard was 80% responsible for Mr. Alexander's death from small cell lung cancer, and awarded his wife $20 million. The jurors also found that Mrs. Alexander was entitled to punitive damages. The punitive damage stage of the trial is slated to begin next Tuesday in Dade County Circuit Court, her attorneys said.
About Parker Waichman LLP
Parker Waichman LLP is a leading personal injury law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. The firm has offices in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Washington, D.C. For more than two decades, Parker Waichman LLP has assisted thousands of clients in receiving fair compensation for injuries resulting from defective drugs, medical devices and other products.
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Contact: Parker Waichman LLP
Herbert Waichman, Partner