Damages of $19 Million Won in Engle Progeny Case

GAINESVILLE, FL; December 21, 2016 – A jury in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida has ruled in favor of Mary Faricy Pardue in the Engle Progeny Case against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Philip Morris USA Inc. Mrs. Faricy Pardue’s husband, popular University of Florida Professor Jack Faricy, passed away from heart disease and COPD in October 1998 at age 67.

The $19.38 million judgement includes nearly $6 million in compensatory damages and $13.5 million in punitive damages in the so-named Engle progeny tobacco-related case. The case win was a collaborative effort between lead counsel Robert Shields, a founder of Doffermyre Shields Canfield & Knowles, LLC, Atlanta, John Kalil, founder of The Law Offices of John S. Kalil, Jacksonville, and the Avera & Smith law firm.

“It’s been a great privilege representing Mrs. Faricy Pardue,” said Rod Smith, a Partner in the Gainesville-based Avera & Smith law firm, who was assisted with the case by fellow partner Dawn Vallejos-Nichols. “Mrs. Pardue and her three children have shown great perseverance and courage in pursuing and obtaining this verdict on behalf of Jack.”

It was the Avera & Smith law firm in another case, in April of this year, that secured a Florida Supreme Court ruling that there is “no legal or principled basis for denying Engle progeny plaintiffs the right to pursue punitive damages on all properly pled counts.” The Supreme Court ruling reversed a First District Court of Appeal decision in 2012 that affirmed the compensatory damages verdict in the case, but found that the plaintiff was not entitled to seek punitive damages on the unintentional tort claims for negligence and strict liability. The April Florida Supreme Court ruling set the stage for other Florida plaintiffs, such as Mary Faricy Pardue, to pursue punitive damages on both the intentional tort claims and the unintentional tort claims in such cases.

Jack Faricy’s memory and service to the University of Florida community are honored via the awarding of the Jack Faricy Professorship by the University’s Warrington College of Business.

Avera & Smith has represented Floridians for more than 60 years with a legacy of personal service and genuine care for clients and the local community.