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Case Detail


Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
On April 22, 2016, WLF asked the en banc Eleventh Circuit to reverse a federal district court decision that, in misplaced deference to rulings by the Supreme Court of Florida, permitted the plaintiff to establish defendants’ liability without proving the essential elements of negligence or strict liability—and without establishing that those elements were actually decided in plaintiff’s favor in any prior proceeding. In its amicus brief urging reversal of the judgment below, WLF charged that the district court’s application of Florida preclusion law in this instance violated the defendants’ federal constitutional right to due process of law. The case arises out of an abortive effort more than a decade ago to try all tort claims by Florida smokers in a single class action. Although the Florida Supreme Court (in its Engle decision) decertified the class, it also held that smokers bringing future individual tort suits could take advantage of generic findings made by the class-action jury.
Case Status:
Awaiting oral argument.
More Information and Downloads:
4/22/2016: Download the Brief
Press Release: WLF Asks Eleventh Circuit to Reject Sui Generis Florida Preclusion Rules that Deprive Defendants of Due Process
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