The story appears on

Page A11

August 26, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Smoker's daughter should get US$13.8m

AN American jury on Monday recommended that cigarette maker Philip Morris USA should pay US$13.8 million in punitive damages to the daughter of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer.

The panel voted 9-3 in favor of Bullock's daughter Jodie Bullock, who is now the plaintiff in the case. Betty Bullock died of lung cancer in February 2003.

She had sued Philip Morris in April 2001, accusing the company of fraud and product liability. A jury in 2002 recommended Philip Morris pay a record US$28 billion in punitive damages to Bullock, but a judge later reduced the award to US$28 million.

In 2008, the 2nd District Court of Appeal reversed the jury's decision and remanded the case for a new trial over the punitive damages.

In a statement, Altria Group Inc, which owns Philip Morris, said any amount given to Bullock's daughter is unwarranted.

Defense attorney Frank P. Kelly said outside of court that Philip Morris hasn't decided yet whether to appeal the decision.

Plaintiff's attorney Michael Piuze said the jury's verdict amounted to a "slap on the wrist for Philip Morris."

"I liked it better when it was US$28 billion," said Piuze, who represented Betty Bullock after she filed the lawsuit. "She wanted me to beat the crap out of Philip Morris, and we did it once."

Betty Bullock, 64, of Newport Beach, started smoking Marlboros, a Philip Morris product, when she was 17.

Matt Reed, 37, of Burbank was one of the three dissenting jurors, who believed Philip Morris should pay a higher amount than the verdict.

"Some of us looked at it as an opportunity to deter this behavior," Reed said. "I don't find US$13.8 million to be much of a deterrent."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend