Pack of cigarettes

In the context of this tobacco liability lawsuit, Elsa Chacon alleged that the tobacco companies being sued purposely hid the risks associated with smoking, which ultimately resulted in Robiel Chacon developing nicotine addiction and smoking-related illnesses.


The Chacon v. Philip Morris case represents the larger wave of individual lawsuits stemming from the Engle class action by Florida smokers against the tobacco industry in the 1990s. In this case, The Alvarez Law Firm dedicated itself to uncovering the details surrounding the cancer and death of Robiel Chacon, who smoked Marlboro cigarettes, and fighting for justice for the Chacon family.

In 1996, Robiel Chacon, a 56-year-old who had been smoking Marlboro cigarettes for a long time, passed away from lung cancer. The Chacon family claims that Philip Morris, a major tobacco company, intentionally hid the dangers of smoking, trapping Chacon in a cycle of addiction that ultimately led to his unfortunate death. 

This lawsuit revolved around two key factors:

  • Proving addiction to cigarettes that led to a smoking-related illness
  • Demonstrating strong connections to Florida

In the ongoing Chacon case, the latter point has become a significant focus during the trial. Chacon, who originally hails from Cuba, moved to Florida in 1988 after living in New York..

This retrial began seven years after an initial defense verdict, which was later overturned five years later. The Third District Court of Appeal found that the trial court had made errors in instructing the jury on the criteria for Engle class membership and citizenship. The appellate court clarified that Chacon's status as either a citizen or a resident of Florida would be sufficient for the case.

The Alvarez Law Firm's Position

Representing the Chacon family, Xavier Navarro, Nicholas Reyes, and William Brown,  firmly argued that the evidence overwhelmingly proves Chacon's strong connections to Florida. Despite Chacon's immigration from Cuba and a period of living in New York, the family established deep roots in Florida. They bought a home, paid utility bills, and, most importantly, Chacon was diagnosed and treated for his cancer in Florida. Navarro insists, "The evidence will clearly demonstrate that Miami was his home in every sense."

Navarro asserts that Chacon was a victim of a deliberate effort by Philip Morris to hide the risks of smoking. He emphasizes the deceptive marketing strategies used by the tobacco industry, particularly the promotion of filtered cigarettes as safer options. Chacon, an unwitting target of these tactics, believed that the filters provided protection, ultimately leading to a lifelong addiction.

1 Million Won For All Claims In Chacon v. Philip Morris, Including Punitive Damages

The Alvarez Law Firm remains determined to seek justice for the Chacon family. The complex interplay of addiction, industry deceit, and legal intricacies highlights the difficulties of tobacco litigation. The plaintiff's victory in the initial trial and the subsequent punitive damages offer hope to those seeking to hold tobacco companies accountable. The legal battle continues, and The Alvarez Law Firm is steadfast in its dedication to navigating the challenging landscape of Engle progeny lawsuits and championing the rights of those impacted by the alleged misconduct of the tobacco industry.

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