Laws Limit Damages Against Tobacco
Florida and several tobacco-producing states passed laws designed to protect the tobacco industry in case of a crippling verdict in the class-action lawsuit brought by Florida smokers. In Florida, defendants who appeal a verdict generally must post the fu
State legislators and the tobacco industry say the laws protect companies from certain bankruptcy. But anti-tobacco forces say the caps unfairly shield cigarette makers and violate the Constitution by failing to respect court decisions from other states.
Following is a list of state caps on the bond cigarette makers would have to post during appeals:
- Florida: $100 million or 10 percent of the companies' net worth, whichever is lower.
- Georgia: $25 million.
- Kentucky: $100 million.
- North Carolina: $25 million.
- Virginia: $25 million.