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He has defended R.J. Reynolds in significant smoking and health cases around the country.
Dal Burton is one of the most experienced litigators in Womble Carlyle’s Atlanta office. He is in the Products Liability Group, concentrating his work on the representation of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in third party recovery cases and personal injury claims.
Upon joining Womble in 2000, Dal participated on the trial team that successfully defended R.J. Reynolds in a claim brought by the Johns Monville Asbestos Trust to recover in excess of $200 million in damages. After a two month trial in federal court, the case ended in a mistrial when the jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of the defense and then was dismissed. (Falise, et al v. American Tobacco Co., et al) Two years later, Dal was on the trial team which successfully defended R.J. Reynolds in a multi-million dollar claim brought by BCBS of New Jersey for the recovery of expenditures it claimed to have incurred treating smokers. (BCBS New Jersey v. Philip Morris, Inc.)
In 2011, Dal led a Womble Carlyle team to a complete trial victory for client R.J. Reynolds in a landmark health care cost recovery case in Missouri (City of St. Louis, et al. v. American Tobacco Co., et al). A St. Louis Circuit Court jury ruled that six tobacco companies, including R.J. Reynolds, did not owe any damages to Missouri hospitals for treatment of uninsured smokers. Nearly 40 Missouri hospitals had joined in the lawsuit seeking more than $455 million in costs and punitive damages, and the case took 13 years to complete. That same year, with the help of a different Womble Carlyle team, Dal obtained a complete defense verdict in an individual case in Florida brought by a smoker suffering from laryngeal cancer (John Szymanski v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al.)
Dal has also tried a number of cases on behalf of banks and public companies involving complex business transactions. For example, Dal has successfully defended public companies in securities fraud cases (In re PMSC Securities Litigation); has defended Wachovia (or one of its predecessor banks) in a multi-million dollar lender liability action involving the alleged breach of a loan commitment (Seretean vs. First National Bank of Atlanta, et al.), and has represented lenders in a broad cross-section of litigation matters arising out of a failed real estate subsidiary.
Financial Services Litigation
Food, Beverage & Agriculture
Pharmaceutical Products Litigation
Product Liability Litigation