Tobacco companies are taking another shot at getting the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their arguments that judges in Florida are trampling their due process rights in a so-called “Engle progeny” case. Lawyers for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Philip Morris USA Inc., and Liggett Group LLC filed their petition for a writ of certiorari on August 9. (Hat tip: Law 360.) This is far from the first time the tobacco companies have raised Fourteenth Amendment issues with the way the Florida courts are handling the fallout of the landmark 2006 Engle ruling by the Florida Supreme Court. That decision, you’ll remember, reversed a record $145 billion jury award and eliminated a statewide class of smokers, but allowed about 7,000 individual cases to proceed with findings from the original Miami jury in the case. Juries in the individual cases are now told to accept as fact that smoking causes many diseases and that the tobacco companies were negligent for selling unreasonably dangerous products.
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