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Philip Morris Inc. thinks it has found a loophole to help take the sting out of an $80 million punitive damages award in March to the family of an Oregon man who died of cancer.

Lawyers for the company, the largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States, on May 13 succeeded in getting Portland, Ore., state court Judge Anna J. Brown to knock the number down to $32 million. Williams v. Philip Morris, No. 9705-03957. And they have put Attorney General Hardy Myers on notice they intend to lay 60% of that figure off on the state of Oregon.

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