Florida smokers who lose personal-injury suits against tobacco companies could be on the hook for the opposition’s attorney fees under a settlement strategy being pursued by cigarette makers.
Tobacco companies have been offering the state’s 8,000 smoker plaintiffs minuscule amounts of money — typically $500 to $2,500 — to settle wrongful death and negligence cases potentially worth millions of dollars. The catch: Florida law says plaintiffs who obtain a significantly smaller judgment than a rejected settlement offer must pay the other side’s attorney fees.
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