Brannock & Humphries Wins $14.5 Million Appeal In Engle Progeny Tobacco Case
Today, the Third District Court of Appeal upheld a judgment awarding $14.5 million to Carmenza Merino in an Engle progeny suit brought against cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris.
For over 30 years, Carmenza Merino smoked cigarettes produced by Philip Morris. Ms. Merino’s addiction to these cigarettes led to her developing oral cancer, which necessitated a series of major, life-altering surgeries.
Ms. Merino filed suit, relying on the Engle jury’s original findings that Philip Morris had engaged in a conspiracy with the rest of the tobacco industry to conceal the health risks and addictive nature of cigarettes. Following a three-week trial, a Miami-Dade County jury awarded Ms. Merino $8 million in compensatory damages and, following a second phase of trial, another $6.5 million in punitive damages.
When Philip Morris appealed, Brannock & Humphries was retained to defend the jury’s verdict. On appeal, Philip Morris filed a six-issue brief, including a challenge to Ms. Merino’s supposed bolstering of her expert medical witness.
On November 9, 2016, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the jury’s award, rejecting all of Philip Morris’ arguments without opinion.