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Regulating Communications

Philip Morris USA, Inc. v. Cuddihee


Philip Morris USA, Inc. v. Cuddihee (Florida Court of Appeals, First District, May 4, 2022): A Florida appeals court upheld a $2.5 million verdict against Philip Morris for conspiring to conceal information about the risks and addictive nature of cigarette smoking. Philip Morris appealed the verdict won by the daughter of a smoker who alleged the cigarette manufacturer was responsible for her father’s death, claiming that the plaintiff failed to prove her father detrimentally relied on any health-related statements from Philip Morris. Plaintiff presented evidence of detrimental reliance that sufficiently tied the father’s smoking, cancer, and death to misleading advertisements for innovative cigarette products. Evidence shows plaintiff’s late father switched to a supposedly low-tar, less addictive brand of cigarettes for health reasons based on these advertisements. The court concluded that evidence at trial was sufficient for the jury to conclude the man relied on the company’s advertising to his detriment. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – June 15, 2022.

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