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A cancer patient who won a $3 billion jury award against Philip Morris Inc. has agreed to accept a reduced award of $100 million, his lawyer said. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles W. McCoy Jr. upheld the jury’s verdict earlier this month but ruled the award to Richard Boeken was excessive. He gave Boeken until Friday to accept the lesser amount or there would be a new trial to reconsider punitive damages. Boeken’s attorney, Michael Piuze, said Tuesday that his client had accepted and that the papers were filed with the court Monday. Philip Morris attorney Steven Rissman said the company would appeal. “We are unaware of any appellate court decision that has upheld a punitive damage award of greater than $25 million, which we contend is still too much,” Rissman said. The jury found the tobacco giant guilty of negligence, misrepresentation, fraud and selling a defective product. In reducing the award, McCoy denounced Philip Morris’ actions as “reprehensible” but said the jury’s punitive damages were far above the usual ratio. The ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages was 540-1; a $100 million award would make that 18-1. Boeken, 57, a lifelong smoker, claimed he was the victim of a tobacco industry campaign that portrayed smoking as “cool” but concealed its dangers. Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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