The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit certifies three questions of statutory interpretation to As personal representative of her deceased sister’s estate, Brinda Coates filed a wrongful death action against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, alleging that her sister’s death resulted from smoking R.J. Reynolds’ cigarettes. At trial, the jury awarded $16 million in punitive damages and $150,000 in compensatory damages. On appeal, the Fifth District Court of Appeal held that the punitive damages award was excessive under state and federal law and certified a question of great public importance to this Court for review.  

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