For over half a century, the world’s largest cigarette manufacturers have relied on Shook, Hardy & Bacon.  Our lawyers have defended more than 6,000 cases involving a range of evolving claims and novel legal theories—truly litigation of the highest stakes—in state and federal courts in all 50 states. We have tried more than 150 cases and won a majority of them.  These decades of litigation have earned Shook a reputation as a cutting-edge product liability litigation firm: a “Band One” national products liability firm by Chambers USA, “Global Product Liability Law Firm of the Year" by Who's Who Legal, and "A Standout in Product Liability Litigation" by BTI Litigation Outlook. The firm is currently defending more than 3,000 cases and serves as national counsel for Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International, providing litigation and regulatory counsel.

Representative Matters

Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006). Shook currently coordinates the defense of Philip Morris USA in more than 3,000 Florida smoking-and-health cases. These involve claims by more than 4,000 plaintiffs who sued individually after the state high court decertified a statewide class action. Shook manages this litigation and tries cases on a regular basis. In addition, Shook has long served as national counsel for Philip Morris USA, including the defense of many cases alleging violations of consumer-fraud statutes.

Thompson v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 760 F.3d 913 (8th Cir. 2014).  Shook served as lead trial counsel and appellate counsel for Philip Morris USA.  The Eighth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a wrongful-death suit brought against Shook client Philip Morris USA, clarifying that Missouri law does not permit such a claim when the decedent previously recovered for the same allegedly tortious conduct during his lifetime.

In re: Tobacco Litigation, 00-C-5000 (Cir. Ct. Kanawha Cnty. W. Va. 2013).  On behalf of Philip Morris USA, Shook won a defense verdict in the first phase of a multi-phase trial, effectively terminating more than 600 individual personal-injury cases.

Scott v. American Tobacco Co., 949 So.2d 1266 (La. Ct. App. 2007). Shook attorneys hold the rare distinction of having tried to verdict a medical monitoring class action; in Scott, the class included all Louisiana residents who smoked and wished to participate in medical monitoring or a cessation program. While a smoking cessation program was awarded, Shook convinced a Louisiana jury to reject plaintiffs’ $10-billion medical monitoring demand.

Coolidge v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., 2005 WL 2170737 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2005).  Shook served as lead trial counsel in a smoking-and-health case tried in state court in Riverside, California. After an 11-week trial, the jury needed less than two hours to return a unanimous defense verdict.

Castano v. American Tobacco Co., 84 F.3d 734 (5th Cir. 1996).  Shook successfully obtained reversal of a purported nationwide class of cigarette smokers seeking to recover for personal injuries allegedly resulting from their addiction to cigarettes.

Broin v. Philip Morris Cos., 641 So. 2d 888 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994). Shook served as lead counsel in a class action brought in state court in Florida by non-smoking flight attendants alleging injury from breathing secondhand smoke on airplanes. It was the first secondhand smoke case and the first tobacco class action to go to trial.