Skip to main content

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!


  1. 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.

  2. 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]

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

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

  4. What am I, chopped liver ? Like, seriously.


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

  5. @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!

  6. 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.

  7. It is a huge stretch.

  8. More than a stretch. Poorly reasoned hack advocacy.

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

  10. 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.

  11. defense lawyer here;;;; pretty offensive opinion

  12. Could be a parting gift.

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


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

My Kind of Federal Judge!

Sure we have Scott Rothstein and his lovely Tom James clothier Romina Sifuentes, but Louisiana has ED LA judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr.:
A federal judge from Louisiana who had run up big gambling debts routinely solicited money and gifts from lawyers with cases before his court, Congressional investigators said Tuesday as the House opened impeachment hearings in the judge’s case. The judge, G. Thomas Porteous Jr. of Federal District Court, had more than $150,000 in credit card debt by 2000, mostly for cash advances spent in casinos, investigators said. Judge Porteous’s requests for cash became so frequent that one New Orleans lawyer said he started trying to dodge the judge.“He began to use excuses that he needed it for tuition, he needed it for living expenses,” the lawyer, Robert Creely, told a House Judiciary Committee task force. “I would avoid him until I couldn’t avoid him anymore.”
Mr. Creely said he and his law partner, Jacob Amato, gave Judge Porteous an estimated $20,000 o…

Honoring Richard C. Seavey

I drank a shit-ton of bourbon last night. Enough to float a battleship.

My head hurts. But not as much as my heart.

We lost another lawyer over the weekend. Not someone who will receive facebook accolades and other public claims of friendship and statements that he shaped and changed lives and careers. Just a guy who did the best he could with what he had. Every day. And he did very, very well to be the best person he could be. 
Richard Seavey was a profoundly private person. In his 49 years, he walked through more than his share of trials and tribulations, mostly asking for no help, leaning on no one. 

Richard was a fantastic lawyer. He could try a case. He could "litigate" a case. He could mediate and settle a case. He was nuanced. He bent but never broke. The blustery Miami lawyer never scared him. To the contrary, he found humor in it, studying it like a science project. Richard never got too high or too low. He was good at lawyering, but you got the f…

First Carnival Triumph Lawsuit on File!

It was filed in the SD FL (of course) and is pending before Judge Graham.

Check it out here.

The lawyer on the pleading is Marcus R. Spagnoletti.