Multimillion Dollar Verdict in Engle Case


    A Florida jury returned a $43 million verdict against Philip Morris on Aug. 3 after finding the company responsible for the cancer death of a woman who had smoked the company’s Virginia Slims cigarettes, reports the Courtroom View Network.

    The verdict includes $15 million in compensatory damages and $28 million in punitive damages for the 1993 lung cancer death of Norma Lipp.

    Lipp had smoked between one and two packs of cigarettes a day for decades, including those of the Virginia Slims brand for 15 years.

    Her family claims Philip Morris conspired to hide the dangers of smoking, hooked her to nicotine and caused her fatal cancer.

    The case is among thousands that stem from Engle v. Liggett Group Inc., a 1994 Florida class-action lawsuit against the nation’s tobacco companies that led to a plaintiffs’ verdict at trial.

    The state’s supreme court later decertified the class but ruled that “Engle progeny” cases may be tried individually.