Shook Secures Victory for Philip Morris in COPD Case

A state court jury, sitting in the 19th Judicial District Court for Indian River County, Fla., returned a defense verdict for Shook, Hardy & Bacon client Philip Morris USA Inc. on July 30, 2015.

The suit, which is part of the Engle litigation in Florida, stemmed from plaintiff’s allegations that her lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were caused by smoking. The jury found that the plaintiff Fannie Collar was not addicted to cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA Inc. and Liggett Group LLC.

Shook Miami Managing Partner William Geraghty led the defense for Philip Morris. Geraghty argued that the plaintiff’s decision to smoke was voluntary and fueled by her enjoyment of smoking. Collar sought $15 million in damages, in addition to $200,000 in medical bills and additional punitive damages.

Law360 covered the trial in an article titled, “Tobacco Cos. Win Over Jury In Ex-Smoker's $15M Trial.”

The case is Fannie Collar v. Philip Morris USA., et al.