Smoker responsible for own death.
Philip Morris considered this their eighth win of 12 Engle cases to go to trial. The so-called Engle progeny cases are the offspring of plaintiffs once part of a class action that was decertified by the Florida Supreme Court. The former class members were allowed, however, a framework to proceed individually that included the ability to present as evidence the tobacco industry's history of deception in its marketing and official statements to government.
The defendant was able to sway a jury by proving a woman who smoked for 50 years had enough information that smoking is a health hazard. They produced media reports and public service commercials from the 1950s to the 1980s. Defense attorneys sought to establish that the public was aware of the danger. Jerry Weingart could not point to any advertising that persuaded his wife to continue smoking, and he did not know what prompted her to start. Weingart testified that he was a smoker, but he quit around 1970. He asked his wife to quit also, but she refused. Questioned whether he felt his decision was his responsibility, the jury was reminded that the husband acknowledged it was his responsibility alone to quit. "Yet, he brings this lawsuit. He wants to assign 65 percent responsibility to the tobacco companies. What's the difference?"
Case Law Alert - 1st Qtr 2012