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SEC Filings

8-K
ALTRIA GROUP, INC. filed this Form 8-K on 02/01/2018
Entire Document
 

Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
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Plaintiff: Purdo
Date:    April 2016

Verdict:
A Palm Beach County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds awarding compensatory damages of $21 million and allocating 12% of the fault to PM USA (an amount of $2.52 million). The jury also awarded plaintiff $6.25 million in punitive damages against each defendant.

Post-Trial Developments:
In May 2016, PM USA and R.J. Reynolds filed various post-trial motions, including motions to set aside the verdict and for a new trial, all of which the court denied and entered final judgment in favor of plaintiff with a deduction for plaintiff’s comparative fault. In June 2016, defendants filed a notice of appeal to the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal and PM USA posted a bond in the amount of approximately $1.5 million. In August 2017, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the final judgment in favor of plaintiff. In September 2017, defendants petitioned the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal for panel rehearing or for rehearing en banc, which the court denied in October 2017. In November 2017, defendants filed a notice to invoke the discretionary jurisdiction of the Florida Supreme Court.
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Plaintiff: McCall
Date:    March 2016

Verdict:
A Broward County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA awarding compensatory damages of $350,000 and allocating 25% of the fault to PM USA (an amount of $87,500).

Post-Trial Developments:
In March 2016, PM USA filed a motion to set aside the verdict and to enter judgment in its favor, which the court denied in May 2016. Also in March 2016, plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial on punitive damages, citing the Soffer decision (allowing Engle progeny plaintiffs to seek punitive damages on their negligence and strict liability claims) discussed below under Engle Progeny Appellate Issues, which the court granted in May 2016. In June 2016, PM USA filed a notice of appeal to the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal and plaintiff cross-appealed. In December 2017, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial on an appellate finding that the trial judge erred in instructing the jury on the warning labels on cigarette packs.
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Plaintiff: Ahrens
Date:    February 2016

Verdict:
A Pinellas County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds awarding $9 million in compensatory damages and allocating 24% of the fault to PM USA. The jury also awarded plaintiff $2.5 million in punitive damages against each defendant.

Post-Trial Developments:
In February 2016, the trial court entered final judgment against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds without any deduction for plaintiff’s comparative fault and defendants filed various post-trial motions, including motions to set aside the verdict and for a new trial. In March 2016, the trial court denied defendants’ post-trial motions. In April 2016, defendants filed a notice of appeal to the Florida Second District Court of Appeal and PM USA posted a bond in the amount of $2.5 million. In May 2017, the Florida Second District Court of Appeal issued a per curiam affirmance of the final judgment against defendants and defendants filed a motion for rehearing. In July 2017, the Second District Court of Appeal withdrew its prior decision and replaced it with a written opinion affirming the trial court’s judgment, but certifying to the Florida Supreme Court a conflict with Schoeff, discussed below under Engle Progeny Appellate Issues. In August 2017, defendants filed a notice to invoke the discretionary jurisdiction of the Florida Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court stayed the case pending Schoeff. In December 2017, the Florida Supreme Court held in Schoeff that comparative fault does not reduce compensatory damages awards for intentional torts. As a result, in the fourth quarter of 2017, PM USA recorded a provision on its consolidated balance sheet of approximately $7 million for the judgment plus interest and associated costs.
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