A Miami Dade County Judge ruled that Florida smokers, former smokers and survivors of smokers may be eligible for a portion of an unprecedented fund of $600 million which was established by the tobacco industry. The qualifications are: the disease or medical condition must have been first diagnosed or manifested itself before November 21, 1996; and claimants will be required to submit “contemporaneous, verifiable proof,” mainly medical records dated before November 21, 1996, to support their claim.
The fund, known as the “Engle Trust Fund,” named after the original plaintiff in the Florida products liability case against the tobacco industry, is for people, or survivors of immediate family members, who have suffered, presently suffer, or have died from the diseases and medical conditions, including aortic aneurysm, bladder cancer, cerebrovascular disease (including stroke), cervical cancer, COPD (including emphysema), heart attack, throat cancer, kidney cancer, laryngeal cancer, lung cancer, miscarriage, and oral cavity/tongue cancer.
We cannot stress strongly enough that all claims must be registered no later than June 16, 2008. Any claim not submitted, along with the necessary medical records documentation, by June 16, 2008, will not be eligible for a proportionate share of the fund.