BBC NEWS | Business | US smoker’s daughter gets $13.8m

25 08 2009
Cigarette stub

The case has been in the courts for eight years

A US jury has ordered tobacco giant Philip Morris to pay $13.8m (£8.4m) to the daughter of a lifelong smoker who died of lung disease.

The jury in Los Angeles decided in favour of Jodie Bullock, whose mother Betty died of lung cancer in 2003 aged 64. She had smoked for 47 years.

Philip Morris said she could have given up smoking at any time as the harmful effects of cigarettes were known.

Philip Morris is a part of Virginia-based tobacco-products group Altria.

Betty Bullock had sued Philip Morris in April 2001 on the grounds of fraud and product liability.

In 2002, a jury recommended that Philip Morris should pay $28bn in punitive damages to Mrs Bullock, but a judge later reduced the award to $28m.

In 2008, the US Court of Appeal overturned the jury’s decision and sent the case for a new trial, with Philip Morris arguing that the $28m was excessive.

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Duh ! – does that mean we can all sue tobacco makers ?

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