Florida - First smoking case appealed to Fla. Supreme Court..

March 16, 2011 - The first of thousands of smoker lawsuits in Florida has been appealed to the state Supreme Court. The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. on Tuesday, March 15th asked the justices to reverse a $28.3 million verdict won by the family of a deceased smoke in Pensacola.

The 1st District Court of Appeal affirmed the verdict in December, siding with the family of Benny Martin, who died of lung cancer in 1995. (June 9, 2009 - R.J. Reynolds to appeal plaintiff's award of $30 million..; June 3 2009 - R.J. Reynolds loses Florida court trial - widow gets $30 million..)

The tobacco company claims that damages are excessive.

About 8,000 similar lawsuits are being tried individually after the Supreme Court in 2006 threw out a $145 billion class-action damage award for smokers. That decision also concluded that cigarette makers knowingly sold dangerous and defective products. (Cigarette Makers Face Thousands of New Florida Lawsuits..)

Reference: First smoking case appealed to Fla. Supreme Court, miamiherald.com, 3/15/2011.

Some related news briefs from Florida court cases:
Florida smoker wins case - awarded compensatory damages of $10,000 ..;
Florida - tobacco cases clog dockets of courts..;
Florida - jury snaps tobacco’s recent winning streak with an $80 million award..;
Florida - jury returns verdict in favor of Philip Morris USA, 5th consecutive time..;
Florida is tide turning? - 4th time in 2-weeks Philip Morris USA wins court cases..;
Florida - PM USA to challenge verdict in the Piendle v. RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris USA case..;
Florida - tobacco companies ordered to pay $2.2 million to widow of smoker..;
Florida - individual cases against big tobacco can move forward, can rely on Engle jury findings..;
Florida - jury awards smoker $21M from Philp Morris USA.;
Florida - can big tobacco survive all these lawsuits they continue to lose??;
Florida - big tobacco loses another case..;
Florida - jury awards $26.6 million to smoker's widow..;
Florida - 9 year old case, appeals court upholds $24.8 million award..;
Florida - $300 million jury award to former smoker overturned..;
Florida - jury awards $300 million in ex-smoker's suit..;
Florida - tobacco companies ask court to block ruling..;
Florida - plaintiff drops case to avoid paying legal fees for Philip Morris USA..;
R.J. Reynolds to appeal plaintiff's award of $30 million..;
R.J. Reynolds loses Florida court trial - widow gets $30 million..;
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