Florida Supreme Court
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December 4, 2014
Lucille Soffer, etc., v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
Mrs. Soffer sued R.J. Reynolds, seeking damages for negligence, fraud, conspiracy and
liability in the 1992 death of her husband, Maurice Soffer. Her suit was one of several
thousand filed in Florida’s courts in the wake of a class-action lawsuit against tobacco
companies filed in 1994 on behalf of all Florida smokers. In her individual lawsuit, Mrs. Soffer
asked for punitive damages for all claims. The trial judge ruled punitive damages were limited
to only certain claims. Mrs. Soffer was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages but no
punitive damages. She appealed the ruling on punitive damages; the First District Court of
Appeal upheld the trial court.