A Strategic Victory Against Big Tobacco

Jurors in Miami reached a $4.5 million verdict in the case of a Florida woman who died of lung cancer. In this case, a portion of the responsibility was attributed to two of the largest tobacco companies in the country.

After 7 hours of deliberation, it was concluded that a defective cigarette design is what ultimately led to the 2017 lung cancer death of Diana Scandella, who was a long-term smoker.

 However, the jury apportioned 13% of responsibility to Philip Morris and 7% of responsibility to R.J. Reynolds. The remaining 80% of responsibility was given to Ms. Scandella, most likely reducing the post-verdict sum to somewhere around $900,000.

Diana Scandella

Scandella first started smoking back in the 1970s, when she was 12 years old. Her smoking habit lasted for decades. At first, she preferred Philip Morris’ Marlboro brands but later moved on to R.J. Reynolds’ Winstons. In the suit, her family contended that the tobacco companies in question manufactured cigarettes that were unreasonably dangerous, which got Scandella hooked on nicotine and, ultimately, led to her cancer diagnosis. 

The trial lasted for nine days and focused almost entirely on the tobacco companies’ cigarette designs and Scandella’s smoking habits. 

During closing arguments, Alex Alvarez, representing The Alvarez Law Firm and the Scandella family, reiterated his statements regarding the undeniable evidence levied against the defendants. This evidence proved that the tobacco companies in question intentionally manufactured their cigarettes to be inhalable and modified their nicotine levels in order to get smokers hooked. 

In Alvarez’s arguments, he talked about how these cigarette manufacturers made the products more addictive than they already were. He argued that they did this on purpose to ensure that they could attract and maintain as many customers as possible in the long run. They did this knowing that their products were harmful to the public’s health. 

Alvarez went on to say that Scandella’s smoking habit began due to a lack of knowledge regarding all of the risks and the eventual nicotine addiction that would surmount her. He reminded the jurors that Scandella believed the filtered cigarettes she smoked were safer than traditional, unfiltered cigarettes. He also reiterated that Scandella attempted to quit on multiple occasions, including one time in which she locked herself in a room in order to prevent herself from acquiring cigarettes. Alvarez argued that a person who goes to such lengths to quit cigarettes clearly isn’t happy about being a smoker. The tobacco companies’ dishonest practices are what put her in that position.

Mr. Alex Alvarez in a suit outside

The Alvarez Law Firm

From the beginning of our practice, The Alvarez Law Firm has gone above and beyond to provide residents of the great state of Florida with some of the best legal representation America has to offer. Our track record for successful cases can speak for us better than we can, as we have helped countless individuals win their cases against tobacco companies and other entities that engage in fraud. Those who choose to go with Alvarez Law Firm can rest assured that their cases will be handled with the greatest of care.  

Reach out to us today to set up a free consultation. 

Let’s talk about your case.

Schedule a Consultation
Contact us media