Tobacco Company Avoids Another Wrongful Death Suit

- Keith Bregoff

At the end of October another lawsuit against the tobacco company RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. came to a close. The verdict: the company was not liable in this $9 million dollar wrongful death suit.

David Robertson, the plaintiff, grew up on a farm and would often perform tasks in exchange for tobacco. He began smoking at the age of 12, believing that tobacco would settle his upset stomach, as that was how smoking was advertised at the time. Despite not so recent and on going health warnings against tobacco and smoking, Robertson continued to smoke until the day he passed away from a rare lung cancer called adenosquamous carcinoma.

Another Case Stemming from the Engle Class Action

The Robertson case is one of the many which was initially apart of the Engle class action suit against tobacco companies, a suit which was eventually decertified in 2006. The Robertson case alleged that the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. knew that the so-called “health benefits” that the company claimed to come with the use of tobacco were knowingly false. Robertson’s attorney said that these “health benefits” were the reason Robertson chose to smoke to begin with.

The defendants stated that Robertson knew of the health risks associated with ongoing smoking and tobacco use, and yet he continued to do so anyway. They also claimed that the type of cancer which killed Robertson was not included in the cancer types which were covered under the Engle class action.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida

Robertson’s loved ones had the right to file a wrongful death claim if they were able to prove that the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co had, in fact, been negligent. A wrongful death claim can be filed whenever an individual dies as a result of an intentional action or negligent act of another individual or a company. But not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim.

  • If the deceased individual was married, the surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim (in some states, civil or domestic spouses may also file for wrongful death)
  • If the deceased individual was a child, the parents or legal guardians of that child may file a wrongful death claim
  • If the deceased was a single adult, then other family members, such as a sibling or grandparent, may file for wrongful death

Mr. Bregoff’s experience as a personal injury attorney and as an insurance defence attorney have provided him with the well-rounded knowledge necessary to protect you and other loved ones from any further pain and suffering resulting from the tragic and unexpected passing of a family member.

We welcome your call today to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your claim at (772) 492-8967.