The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a 284-page en banc opinion Thursday saying that smokers who won a class action against tobacco companies can also file individual lawsuits.
The judges had some fireworks. Three wrote dissents. One called the process a “chaotic poker game” and said judges should “stick to our day jobs” instead of advocating for plaintiffs.
In the end, the judges upheld the lower court decision in favor of Theresa Graham against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and its affiliates. Judge William Pryor wrote the majority opinion.
“This appeal presents the questions whether due process forbids giving a jury’s findings of negligence and strict liability in a class action against cigarette manufacturers preclusive effect in a later individual suit by a class member and, if not, whether federal law pre-empts the jury’s findings,” Pryor began.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Who could read all of this?
The 11th Circuit issued 284 pages of en banc opinions in the smoking cases, including Tjoflat's 225+ page (!!) dissent. I couldn't bear to read it all, but the Daily Report has this initial summary: