The Supreme Court Punitive Damages Decision in Philip Morris – Good for Plaintiffs?


On its face, the United States Supreme Court’s Philip Morris v. Williams decision earlier this year tossing out a $79.5M punitive damage award in an Oregon smoking case where the compensatory damages were $821,000, was seen as a victory for big business in limiting punitive damage awards.

However, New York personal injury lawyer, Eric Turkewitz takes a contrarian view, and argues persuasively in his blog that the dissent of Justice Stevens in the Philip Morris case suggests that high punitive damage multipliers will be allowed in future cases.