3rd DCA Reverses Trial Court and Orders New Trial In Tobacco Smokers Claim; Gerson and Schwartz, PA wins appeal for late smoker

The Third District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court in Frazier v. Philip Morris USA Inc., and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The appellate court issued a 25 page opinion reversing and remanding the case for a new trial and stating that the late Phyllis Frazier should have been granted a directed verdict on the question of whether her lawsuit was covered by a four-year statute of limitations from a disbanded smoker class action, the 3rd DCA ruled. Philip M. Gerson and Edward Schwartz, PA with the law of firm of Gerson and Schwartz, PA represented the late Ms. Frazier in a hard fought 6 week trial. The jury deliberated finding that the Plaintiff proved her case on all but one issue.


Philip M. Gerson stated on Thursday from his Miami offices that he was “happy with the court’s ruling” and “look forward to seeking justice for Ms. Frazier”. The ruling by the Florida appellate court was not only a big victory in the underlying case, but also was important decision for the thousands of other Engle progeny cases throughout Florida. The statute of limitations issue and it’s application to these line of cases has been a somewhat of a strategic tactic that the tobacco companies have been trying to use win in many of these cases. “In the direct appeal, we reverse and remand the case for a new trial for two independently sufficient reasons. First, there was no competent record evidence that “the accumulated effects of the substance manifest in a way which supplied some evidence of the causal relationship to the manufactured product before the undisputed limitations bar date of May 5, 1990. For this reason, Ms. Frazier’s motion for a directed verdict on the statute of limitations issue should have been granted”, the opinion stated. To read the opinion click here.

The Miami personal injury lawyers of Gerson and Schwartz, PA represent injury accident victims throughout Florida. For more information visit the firms website at www.injuryattorneyfla.com

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