In Philip Morris v. Williams, the U.S. Supreme Court justices, for the first time, will apply their "guideposts" for judging allegedly excessive punitive damages awards to a case involving the death of a plaintiff -- a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer. The case asks the high court to set forth clearly how judges and juries are to weigh harm caused by the defendant's conduct to smokers who were not parties to the suit. The nonparty question is critical, say both business and consumer groups.
Supreme Court Revisits Punitive Damages
The National Law Journal
October 30, 2006