12.21.2022 | News & Views | Publications

Cetrulo LLP Attorneys Author Amicus Brief in Conspiracy Action before Supreme Judicial Court Arguing but-for Causation Expansion and Re-Evaluation of Judgment Interest

By Kyle E. Bjornlund

In Greene, et al. v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., Cetrulo LLP’s Kyle Bjornlund and Thomas Brown and Martin, Magnuson, McCarthy & Kenney’s Jennifer Creedon and Lauren Mankowski submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (“MassDLA”) to the Supreme Judicial Court arguing for the application of the but-for causation standard in all civil cases, including multi-party mass tort actions. MassDLA’s brief also argued that the 12% pre and post judgment interest rate in Massachusetts is a product of decades-old policy that no longer reflects modern realities, amounts to punitive damages, and is an outlier among the several states.

In the Court’s decision, which was issued on May 9, 2023, the SJC held that Philip Morris had not properly preserved its objection to the causation instruction on appeal.  The SJC further declined to strike down the pre and post judgment interest statutes, citing similar interest rates being upheld in other jurisdictions and opining that the question is better left to the legislature.

A copy of MassDLA’s amicus brief in Greene can be found here.

SJC-13330_21_Amicus_Massachusetts_Defense_Lawyers_Association_Brief.pdf (massdla.org)

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