Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Monday, 02.18.2019
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3
 4  5  6  7  8  9  10
 11  12  13  14  15  16  17
 18  19  20  21  22  23  24
 25  26  27  28
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Feb 20,2007
Court overturns Oregon tobacco award
by Bend Weekly News Sources

US Supreme Court overturns case against Philip Morris USA that awarded $79.5 million in punitive damages to deceased smoker’s wife

The U.S. Supreme Court today reversed and vacated a $79.5 million punitive damage award returned by a 1999 Oregon jury in a case known as Williams-Branch. The case will now return to the Oregon courts for proceedings consistent with Philip Morris USA’s due process rights.

In a 5 to 4 decision authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, the Court held that it is unconstitutional for a jury to award punitive damages to punish for harm to individuals who are not before the Court -– as it was invited to do so in the Williams trial –- and that such an award would amount to a taking of property without due process.

“We believe that this decision will provide Philip Morris USA with an opportunity to fully and fairly defend itself in this and other cases,” said William S. Ohlemeyer, Philip Morris USA vice president and associate general counsel.

“There are clearly constitutional limits to the imposition of punitive damages, and today’s decision makes clear that state courts must properly instruct juries on those limits to ensure that they are punishing only for harm caused to the plaintiff, and not to strangers,” said Ohlemeyer.

The Williams-Branch case was the first individual smoking and health case tried in Oregon. The plaintiff, the wife of a deceased smoker, sued Philip Morris USA for fraud and negligence. In 1999, the jury returned a verdict against Philip Morris USA on the fraud claim and awarded the plaintiff $821,000 in compensatory damages and $79.5 million in punitive damages, which the trial court later reduced to $32 million. The appellate court later reinstated the $79.5 million punitive damages award. Following its landmark State Farm decision in 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the punitive damages award in Williams-Branch and remanded the case with instructions that the Oregon courts should reconsider the appeal. In response, the intermediate Court of Appeal, and then the Oregon Supreme Court, once again reinstated the original $79.5 million jury award, leading to this second appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
6250 times read

Related news
Ore. Supreme Court upholds tobacco damages by UPI posted on Feb 01,2008

High court wants jury award in Ford case reviewed by Greg Moran posted on May 15,2007

1989 Exxon Valdez spill back in court by UPI posted on Dec 20,2007

Supreme Court to hear Exxon Valdez appeal by UPI posted on Oct 29,2007

Oregon court approves class action settlement with Hartford Fire Ins. by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Feb 27,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 36 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?