Supreme Court Hears Case of Widowed Smoker- Over Award of $79.5 Million in Punitive Damages
The Supreme Court for the third time heard the case of a widow suing cigarette maker Philip Morris USA in the death of her husband on Wednesday. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Mayola Williams was awarded a judgment of $79.5 million in punitive damages against the Altria Group company; however, the Supreme Court has twice sent the case back to Oregon’s high court for re-examination. Both times it upheld the judgment in Williams’ favor.
Attorneys for Philip Morris accused the Oregon judges of previously going against the orders of the Supreme Court. As quoted in the AP report of Attorney Stephen Shapiro while speaking to the Court Justices “We’re here today because the Oregon court failed to follow this court’s decision.” The final decision of the Supreme Court had yet to be determined at the time of the report.
The husband of Mayola Williams was stated to be a longtime smoker of a cigarette brand manufactured by Philip Morris.