U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


Cert. Denied

Lower Court Opinion

Florida Supreme Court


Questions Presented

Whether the Due Process Clause is violated by the Florida Supreme Court's new rule of preclusion, which permits Engle class members to establish petitioners' liability without being required to prove essential elements of their claims or establishing that those elements were actually decided in their favor in prior proceeding.

Case Updates

Cert. petition denied

October 07, 2013

U.S. Chamber urges Supreme Court to review preclusion rule

September 11, 2013

The U.S. Chamber urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse a Florida Supreme Court case which establishes a new rule of preclusion in violation of the Due Process Clause. In this case, the Florida Supreme Court decertified a sprawling class action against tobacco manufacturers but in the process upheld certain general findings rendered by the class action jury. The Court said that those findings should have a preclusive effect in follow-on cases brought by individual class members. The Chamber urged the Supreme Court to rule that this holding violates petitioners right to Due Process.

As the Chamber's brief argued, this ruling essentially permits class members to establish petitioners’ liability based on highly general verdicts without being required to prove specific, essential elements of their claims. The Chamber warned that “if that decision remains good law, basic liability issues could be deemed decided in every single case – without regard to whether any jury has ever decided the issue of fault with respect to the specific product during the specific time period at issue in each case.” Furthermore, the Chamber pointed out that this decision could have ramifications far beyond the tobacco litigation by creating “a new breed of mass-tort litigation" that consists of a highly generic “issues” phase which decides and controls basic liability issues for any individual trials, regardless of the specific facts at issue in those trials.

Case Documents