R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Graham
- Case Date: 4/22/2016
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On January 8, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition to review an en banc decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that, in misplaced deference to rulings by the Florida Supreme Court, upheld a tort duty not to sell cigarettes on tobacco manufacturers. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief in the case arguing that the Eleventh Circuit ratified a theory of liability that is preempted by federal law. The case arose 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 held that smokers bringing future individual tort suits could take advantage of generic findings made by the class-action jury. WLF’s brief argued that Florida’s view that all cigarettes are inherently defective stands as an obstacle to the longstanding assumption of federal law that cigarettes will remain on the market.
More Information and Downloads:
10/19/2017: Download the Brief
4/22/2016: Download the Brief