Reviewing an award of $591 Million to a certified class of smokers for cessation assistance, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal rejected the tobacco industry’s renewed arguments that the class should be de-certified due to the individualized issues of causation, reliance, and other “Due Process” concerns. Although reducing the damages to $279 Million, the court found that the plaintiffs had proved causation and damage to the class as a whole, and that the “reliance” issues were distinguishable from those as were present in cases such as Banks v. New York Life. See Scott v. American Tobacco Co., No. 2004-2095 (La. App. 4th Cir. 2/7/07), 949 So.2d 1266.
[Note – Russ Herman and HHK served as Lead Trial Counsel in the Scott case. Steve Herman served on the Trial Team and was Co-Chair of the Briefing Committee. Following the verdict, they were named Finalists Trial Lawyers of the Year by TLPJ in 2005.]