A South Florida appeals court issued a ruling denying R.J. Reynolds’ motion for a new trial in an Engle progeny case. However, the opinion was not devoid of sympathies for the big tobacco company.

The Third District Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s order on Dec. 26. rejecting R.J. Reynolds’ argument that contentious comments made by the plaintiff’s counsel, as well as the size of damages awarded by the jury, served as sufficient grounds for a new trial. Instead, the majority of the appellate judges found the approximately $15 million verdict “falls squarely within the realm” of previous awards given to those affected by tobacco companies’ negligence and withholding of information pertaining to the addictive nature of cigarettes and nicotine.

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