Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc.

In 1994, a class-action suit was brought in Florida against most U.S. tobacco companies on the basis of numerous tort claims seeking compensatory and punitive damages for injuries caused by smoking.  After lengthy trial and appellate proceedings, the Supreme Court of Florida was asked to review a judgment by the intermediate appellate court which reversed a $145 billion punitive damages award for the class and a $12.7 million compensatory award for the three individual class representatives.  The court disapproved of the reasoning that the punitive damage award was barred by the earlier settlement agreement entered into by the State of Florida with the tobacco industry, and instead vacated the award because it was excessive as a matter of law.  The court upheld two of the three compensatory awards but found the third was barred by the statute of limitations.  The court further held that while much of the findings of the trial phase could stand, the remaining issues were highly individualized and required an order de-certifying the class.  The court thus remanded the case and required individuals to pursue separate claims for compensation.


Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So.2d 1246 (Fla., 2006)

  • United States
  • Dec 1, 2006
  • Supreme Court of Florida


Plaintiff Howard A. Engle, M.D. et. al.

Defendant Liggett Group, Inc. et. al.

Legislation Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product