On December 21st, The First District Court of Appeal upheld a $15 million judgment in favor of a smoker’s surviving family in Mrozek v. Lorillard Tobacco Company, after the tobacco company appealed a verdict from March 2, 2011.
“I am pleased the court of appeal upheld the judgment. Our clients are one step closer to receiving justice and Lorillard is one step closer to being held accountable for its actions,” said Angelo Patacca, a partner at Terrell Hogan, who represented Ms. Miller’s family. Angelo and his partners, Bruce Anderson and Evan Yegelwel, tried the three-week case before a Duval County jury.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal covered the ruling in this story. New Smyrna Beach area resident, Jacqueline Miller, died from lung cancer at age 63 in 1994, after becoming hooked on Lorillard’s cigarettes as a teenager. She smoked two packs a day. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Michele Mrozek, one of Miller’s three surviving children.
The Mrozek case was originally part of the Engle v. Liggett Group Inc. class action lawsuit that was filed against tobacco companies on behalf of all Florida smokers who suffered tobacco-related illnesses and deaths caused by the smokers’ addiction to nicotine. In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court decertified the class, allowing individual lawsuits to be pursued.