Lawyer John P. Coale made millions from tobacco war in 90's. Know his net worth today

HitBerryPublished on   28 Jun, 2016Updated on   23 May, 2021

When he’s not preaching about Scientology or suing some anti-Scientology organizations, John P. Coale is making billions advocating for real non-Scientology lawsuits. One such lawsuit that made Coale millions is the anti-tobacco lawsuit back in the 90’s.

John P. Coale single-handedly managed to negotiate for the high-profile politically charged up suit against tobacco companies and gun makers. He played a vital role in the lawsuit as the key negotiator of the $360 billion federal settlement that was expected to end cigarette makers’ liability for smoking deaths in exchange for cash payments to the government. John P. Coale had a philosophy that mass-injury lawsuits ought to be fought like “a huge war” on many fronts, with plaintiffs’ lawyers wearing “different hats” which included legal, political as well as PR. This philosophy of Coale impressed Wendell Gauthier, who aimed to evade the tobacco industry’s traditional defenses and been on the tobacco lawsuit from earlier than Coale himself.

John P. Coale(right) with wife Greta Susteren (center) and fellow anti-tobacco lawyer Bob Barnett.
Source: Hollywood on the Potomac 

Coale was specifically chosen for the lawsuit because he knew ways to work the media. He wanted to organize a media blitz, using insider tobacco company documents and whistle-blower interviews to influence future jurors on the case and create an environment that would lead stockholders and politicians to pressurize the tobacco firms to settle. Citing Coale’s statement,

"You're not just fighting a corporation; this time, you're fighting the biggest media machine in the world. The only reason that a lot of people smoke today is because of the media blitz."

But it wasn’t just Coale’s brilliant idea and belief that made him a strong member of the prosecution team. As I’ve said before he knew how the press worked and to top it off, he had contacts in the FDA which allowed him to monitor the agency’s probe into the industry’s use of nicotine; a strong evidence for the case. He worked on Capitol Hill and could follow the new Republican majority’s push for tort reforms that might threaten their ability to win punitive damages. Despite having to team up with his former enemy Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Herman, Coale made it work.

Apart from the infamous tobacco lawsuit, John P. Coale has managed to score himself some really high-profile cases. He has represented Lisa Marie Pr5esley in her divorce from Michael Jackson, palled around Republican Sarah Palin, and made donations worth more than $750,000 to many political candidates and committees. John P. Coale has a sumptuous life so no wonder he has a net worth that reaches sky-high. His net worth has not been declared precisely but given the cases, he takes on and the donations he makes, it’d be more than safe to presume that Coale’s got a net worth of billions.