Second District Court Of Appeal Reverses Defense Verdict, Grants Brannock & Humphries Client A New Trial
Brannock & Humphries prevailed today in convincing the Second District Court of Appeal that a Hillsborough County trial judge made several errors during the jury selection process of a wrongful death lawsuit that ended in a verdict for cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris.
The appellate court identified two specific mistakes. The first was the trial court’s denial of the plaintiff’s challenge for cause regarding a juror who stated that the plaintiff would be starting “a little behind” because smoking is “a matter of personal choice,” which is “a large barrier on a situation like this.” The second error was the trial court’s decision to allow Philip Morris to backstrike a juror out of turn. Because of these errors in jury selection, the Second District reversed the judgment and ordered a new trial.
The appellate court’s opinion, which discusses the case in greater detail, is located here.