Friday, April 10, 2015

Judge Tjoflat Snuffs Post-Engle Tobacco Litigation!


Ahh, to be a "principled" conservative yet an advocate of sweeping federal preemption.

On the one hand, you believe to the core of your Dixie heart in "State's Rights" and abhor regulations and the steady encroachment of federal tyranny.

You believe an incompetent Congress frequently overreaches at the expense of the "incubators of democracy" -- the various States and their locally bribed elected legislators -- and that the unique legal paths blazed by individual State lawmakers and judges should be respected and not overrun by fiat from DC.

On the other hand, when a mega corporation wants relief from the imposition of state laws and state juries who sometimes impose local standards of conduct in evaluating liability and damages, in walks the happy notion that the federal government and their massive regulatory scheme occupies the entire field of [insert subject of lawsuit here] and the world is DC's -- you just live in it (plus your butt is out of Court).

Wow, how'd I wind up ranting on such a pleasant Friday?
We merely conclude that, having surveyed both federal and state law, it is clear that Congress would have intended to preempt Graham’s strict-liability and negligence claims, rooted as they are in the Engle jury findings, which have been interpreted by the Florida courts to possess unprecedented breadth. We express no opinion as to other state-law suits that may rest on significantly narrower theories of liability than the Engle litigation.
Right, we "merely conclude" that this whole legal cottage industry spawned by Engle is dead (no offense, deceased tobacco smokers).

What are all my wacky tobacky friends at Shook Hardy Miami going to do now?  Change departments?

(Medical device and prescription drug claims are subject to preemption attacks too!)

Happy Friday!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

SFL, you knew the contradictions began when Bush appealed Florida's recount decision to scotus against Bush. They're for state rights except when they disagree with the state.

South Florida Lawyers said...

But Scalia basically said Bush/Gore was a one-off, don't bother citing to it; boy did that make me feel better! [insert sarcasm emoticon]

Anonymous said...

Happy Friday, SFL...... Mwaaah!

You too GW....... :)

Anonymous said...

What am I, chopped liver ? Like, seriously.

-GB

NB I love when you get your Irish up, SFL.

Anonymous said...

@11:05am-- Hehe. No you're not chopped liver, GW. Although my kisses are specially reserved for SFL, here's one for you too----Mwaaah!

Anonymous said...

I may not like the end result either. But the reasoning is pretty sound. It seems settled that Congress can and has spoken on this issue. They are to blame for this particular compromise between health and liberty, more than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

It is a huge stretch.

Anonymous said...

More than a stretch. Poorly reasoned hack advocacy.

Anonymous said...

Even the defense lawyers don't by this preemption argument.

Anonymous said...

Tjoflat's former clerk and golfing buddy Bob Parrish is a big tobacco defense counsel. I wonder how much time was spent discussing this case at the 19th hole.

Ridiculous stretch that proves there is no more virulent strain of judicial activism than the business conservative strain.

Anonymous said...

defense lawyer here;;;; pretty offensive opinion

Anonymous said...

Could be a parting gift.

Anonymous said...

One of the worst opinions I've ever read. Parting shot to the plaintiffs bar before retirement.