Miller v. Lorillard Engle Tobacco Trial

Posted by msch on Feb 28, 2011 9:33:00 AM

Bruce Anderson and Dan Molony in Miller Mrozek Smoking Tobacco TrialMrozek v. Lorillard (Jacksonville, Florida).

Jackie Miller v. Lorillard Tobacco involves Jacqueline ("Jackie") Miller, who was born in 1930 and died in 1994 of lung cancer at the age of 63. Ms. Miller began smoking in high school, in the 1940's, twenty years before warnings were placed on cigarette packages. Ms. Miller mostly smoked the Lorillard cigarette brands Old Gold, Kent, and Max. The case was brought by Jackie Miller's daughter, Michelle Mrozek.

According to plaintiff attorney Bruce Anderson, of Terrell Hogan, Ms. Miller smoked constantly, in the morning, at work, before going to bed, in the middle of the night, in the car, in the house, outside-- anywhere and everywhere that should could. "We even know that in the last days of Jackie's life," said Mr. Anderson, "that she's suffering from terminal cancer in 1994...the last weeks of her life, she's still smoking cigarettes. She even has her daughterin-law, who's not a smoker, puffing smoke into her face when she's too weak to lift a cigarette and smoke herself. That's how addicted she was."

 Mr. Anderson told the jury, "Jackie Miller bears some measure of responsibility for smoking the cigarettes that caused her to suffer lung cancer...she made a bad choice to start smoking in high school, she showed weakness for her failure to stop smoking sooner, to make a greater effort to stop smoking later in life...she's clearly partially responsible for her own death...[but] Lorillard Tobacco Company also made choices. They made intentional choices...that were influenced by money...Jackie's fault combined with Lorillard's fault caused her to suffer cancer."

For Lorillard, Shook Hardy Bacon's Dan Molony suggested to the jury that they consider who was in control of Ms. Miller's smoking, who controlled Ms. Miller's determination to quit, and whether Ms. Miller was so addicted that she lost her free will? "The evidence will show, I will submit to you," said Mr. Molony, "that Ms. Miller enjoyed smoking, and she enjoyed it from the beginning until almost the end of her life."

Morever, said Mr. Molony, Lorillard's actions did not have a substantial impact on Ms. Miller's decision to smoke. "The evidence that shows a connection directly between my client and the late Ms. Miller will extend no further than that of a typical manufacturer and customer relationship."

CVN webcast Mrozek v. R.J. Reynolds live.

Topics: Toxic Torts, Products Liability, Engle Progeny, Mrozek v. Lorillard, Tobacco Litigation