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Case Detail


Philip Morris USA v. Williams
On March 31, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court without explanation dismissed this case as improvidently granted. The dismissal was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief urging the Court to overturn a $79.5 million punitive damages award. WLF argued that punitive damages are constitutionally excessive when, as here, they bear no reasonable relation to the amount of actual damages. This was the third occasion on which the case reached the Court; on the last occasion, it directed the Oregon courts to consider whether the huge punitive damages award was an effort by the jury to punish the defendant for actions unrelated to the plaintiff -- in which case the award would have been constitutionally impermissible. Instead of addressing that issue, the Oregon Supreme Court for the first time cited a state-law ground for concluding that the defendant had waived its right to object to the judgment. WLF argued that the Oregon decision constituted open defiance of the Supreme Court's previous deci
Case Status:
Case dismissed.
More Information and Downloads:
8/20/2008: Download the Brief
7/28/2006: Download the Brief

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