Mrozek v. Lorillard (Jacksonville, FL).
Tobacco plaintiffs won again in Florida today when a Jacksonville jury sent the Jackie Miller tobacco trial into a punitive damages phase by finding in favor of the plaintiff on all questions, and awarding $2M to each of Ms. Miller’s three children, Michelle Mrozek, Robert Miller, and Malia Torgenson, for a total compensatory damage award of $6M.
In his closing rebuttal argument, Terrell Hogan’s Angelo Patacca repeatedly challenged Lorillard’s claim that it had cooperated with health authorities in warning the public about the hazards of smoking, and that its relationship with Ms. Miller was a typical manufacturer-customer relationship, even if its products were dangerous.
The jury assigned 65% of the fault to Lorillard, and found by clear and convincing evidence that punitive damages were warranted.
The punitive damages phase began immediately, and was completed today. The question of punitive damages is now with the jury.