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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: Skolnick
Date:    June 2013

Verdict:
A Palm Beach County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds. The jury awarded plaintiff $2.555 million in compensatory damages and allocated 30% of the fault to each defendant (an amount of $766,500).

Post-Trial Developments:
In June 2013, defendants and plaintiff filed post-trial motions. The trial court entered final judgment with a deduction for plaintiff’s comparative fault. In November 2013, the trial court denied plaintiff’s post-trial motion and, in December 2013, denied defendants’ post-trial motions. Defendants filed a notice of appeal to the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, and plaintiff cross-appealed in December 2013. Also in December 2013, PM USA posted a bond in the amount of $766,500. In July 2015, the District Court of Appeal reversed the compensatory damages award and ordered judgment in favor of defendants on the strict liability and negligence claims, but remanded plaintiff’s conspiracy and concealment claims for a new trial. In August 2015, defendants filed a motion for rehearing, and plaintiff filed a motion for clarification, which the District Court of Appeal denied in September 2015.
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Plaintiff: Starr-Blundell
Date:    June 2013

Verdict:
A Duval County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds. The jury awarded plaintiff $500,000 in compensatory damages and allocated 10% of the fault to each defendant (an amount of $50,000).

Post-Trial Developments:
In June 2013, the defendants filed a motion to set aside the verdict and to enter judgment in accordance with their motion for directed verdict or, in the alternative, for a new trial, which was denied in October 2013. In November 2013, the trial court entered final judgment with a deduction for plaintiff’s comparative fault. In December 2013, plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the Florida First District Court of Appeal. Plaintiff agreed to waive the bond for the appeal. In May 2015, the Florida First District Court of Appeal affirmed the final judgment. In June 2015, plaintiff filed a notice to invoke the discretionary jurisdiction of the Florida Supreme Court. In July 2015, the Florida Supreme Court stayed the case pending the outcome of Soffer, discussed below under Engle Progeny Appellate Issues. In April 2016, the Florida Supreme Court ordered defendants to show cause as to why the case should not be remanded in light of the Soffer decision. In the first quarter of 2016, PM USA recorded a provision on its condensed consolidated balance sheet of approximately $55,000 for the judgment plus interest and associated costs. In May 2016, the Florida Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction of plaintiff’s petition for review and remanded the case for reconsideration in light of the Soffer decision. In September 2016, the Florida First District Court of Appeal further remanded the case in light of Soffer.
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Plaintiff: Searcy
Date:    April 2013

Verdict:
A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds. The jury awarded $6 million in compensatory damages (allocating 30% of the fault to each defendant) and $10 million in punitive damages against each defendant.

Post-Trial Developments:
In June 2013, the trial court entered final judgment without any deduction for plaintiff’s comparative fault. In July 2013, defendants filed various post-trial motions, including motions requesting reductions in damages. In September 2013, the district court reduced the compensatory damages award to $1 million and the punitive damages award to $1.67 million against each defendant. The district court denied all other post-trial motions. Plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider the district court’s remittitur and, in the alternative, to certify the issue to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, both of which the court denied in October 2013. In November 2013, defendants filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit arguing that application of the Engle findings to the Engle progeny plaintiffs’ concealment and conspiracy claims violated defendants’ due process rights. In December 2013, defendants filed an amended notice of appeal after the district court corrected a clerical error in the final judgment, and PM USA posted a bond in the amount of approximately $2.2 million. In January 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ordered supplemental briefing on the due process issue.
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