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Lung Cancer Victim Awarded $3 Billion; Philip Morris Denounces L.A. Jury's Verdict as 'Not Rational' and Vows Appeal

June 7, 2001 | Marc Kaufman | Copyright

A Los Angeles jury yesterday ordered Philip Morris Cos. to pay $3 billion in punitive damages to a 56-year-old smoker with cigarette- caused lung cancer -- by far the largest damage award ever in a single cigarette case and possibly the largest ever for an individual suing a U.S. corporation.

The state jury, which ruled against Philip Morris on six counts of fraud, negligence and making a defective product, rejected company arguments that Richard Boeken had freely chosen to smoke. Boeken said that he started smoking at 13 before warnings went on cigarette packs, and despite attempts was unable to stop his two-pack a day habit for 40 years.

Company officials said the award was …

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