A $13.5 million verdict at trial in Rey v R.J. Reynolds was successful because attorneys convinced Miami jurors that it was the ‘biomechanical brain’ of Fernando Rey that continued the risk of smoking cigarettes, according to a local attorney.

“Engle progeny actions place addiction, a psychomedical concept, within an entirely new realm — the law,” said Nicole Clark, business and litigation attorney and founder of Trellis Law, an artificial intelligence-powered legal database. “This creates a series of new tensions, most notably with the ‘reasonable legal person’ standard.”

Engle progeny claims were formed after Howard Engle filed a class action lawsuit that the Florida Supreme Court decertified, which paved the way for individual class members to pursue their own legal actions against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

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