Calif. Court Upholds $13.8M Award Against Philip Morris
On Wednesday, a three-judge panel at a state appellate court in California voted 2-1 to uphold $13.8 million in punitive damages against tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris USA for the addiction and death of a Newport Beach, Calif., resident. The judges said that Philip Morris' decades-long practice of withholding information and lying about the dangers of smoking was "extremely reprehensible." Philip Morris argued that the punitive damages amount is "unconstitutionally excessive." The company likely will ask the state Supreme Court to review the case.
- "Tobacco: Court Upholds Big Award in Smoker's Case" (Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/18).