Tobacco Companies to Seek Earliest Possible Appeal
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 27, 1999--Today's Florida Supreme Court decision not to intervene in the ongoing Engle trial in Miami is a procedural decision, and not a decision on merits of Philip Morris's legal position, the company said.
``The court did not review the merits of our legal position, and while the result is disappointing, it is not surprising. It is extraordinary for an appellate court to intervene in an ongoing trial. Today's two-line order will not affect the earliest possible appeal of any verdict in the case, and we firmly believe that any plaintiff's verdict should immediately be reversed on appeal,'' said William S. Ohlemeyer, vice president and associate general counsel at Philip Morris.
Ohlemeyer also said that because any damage award, including a lump-sum punitive award under Florida law will not become a final judgment for many years, no bond should be required during an appeal.
Ohlemeyer added that because of a court order prohibiting any public statements about the case, the company cannot address other details and issues pertaining to the case, or specific grounds for appeal.