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Freidin Brown Wins Big In Engle Progeny Cigarette Trial Estate Of Jay S. Morse V. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company

Morse PF Cigarettes 2

MIAMI, FLORIDA, NOVEMBER 17, 2021 – Freidin Brown attorneys Philip Freidin, Whitney Untiedt, and Lara Dabdoub secure a $5 million jury verdict for the widow of a deceased smoker in Morse v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Following a three-week trial in Brevard County, Florida, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Freidin Brown’s client, Pearl Morse, and her late husband Jay Morse’s estate.

“Mrs. Morse has waited a long time for her day in court, and I’m proud that our team was able to deliver a significant victory for her and her family,” said attorney Whitney Untiedt.

Jay Morse, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, was a heavily addicted smoker for over 55 years, beginning shortly after he first started smoking in 1938 at the age of 12. By 1953, at the age of 27, smoking between 40-50 cigarettes a day for the rest of his life. Mr. Morse succumb to smoking-related lung cancer in 1995 at the age of 69, after multiple unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking.

During the three-week trial in Viera, FL, the Freidin Brown team successfully proved to the jury that Mr. Morse was addicted to cigarettes and that his addiction was a legal cause of his lung cancer and death, qualifying the case as a member of Florida’s Engle v. Liggett Group Inc class action law suit. 

R.J. Reynolds argued that Mr. Morse was well aware of the health threats that heavy smoking posed, but still chose to continue smoking. Attorneys Philip Freidin, Whitney Untiedt, and Lara Dabdoub presented evidence illustrating the physiology of addiction, the length to which R.J. Reynolds went to conceal the facts about nicotine addiction the health risks of smoking, and their conspiracy with other cigarette industry leaders to further their campaign of fraud and deceit.

When early studies first suggested a link between smoking and lung cancer, R.J. Reynolds and others hired a public relations firm to establish the Tobacco Industry Research Committee. In early 1954, when Mr. Morse was already an addicted smoker, this committee penned  “A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers,” which was published in over 400 newspapers and circulated to millions of people throughout the US in an attempt to undermine the scientific research on the toxins in cigarettes and to further mislead the American public.

The Freidin Brown team also referenced numerous cigarette advertising campaigns that flooded the media and news sources of the time. The evidence presented at trial walked the jury through the pervasiveness of the cigarette industry’s impact on entertainment, sports, and news; the lengths to which R.J. Reynolds and others went to hide the truth about smoking; and the tactics the industry used to cast doubt on scientific research and convince millions of Americans that the harms of smoking were unproven. Through the testimony of Dr. Joseph DiFranza, a world-renowned medical doctor and cigarette research, and Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, an acclaimed historian of the cigarette industry, Freidin Brown helped the jury understand why people like Mr. Morse began smoking, how long-term tobacco use impacts a person’s health, and why so many addicted smokers like Mr. Morse were unable to quit.

Freidin Brown, P.A. is a Miami-based boutique law firm that specializes in tobacco litigation, medical negligence, complex personal injury, and whistleblower cases throughout Florida. With over a century of combined experience and more than 250 collective jury trials, our lawyers have dedicated their careers to obtaining justice for their clients.  For more information on the firm, please visit [] or contact Caroline Venditti at

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