Courtroom View News reports on a verdict in Massachusetts state court awarding $8 million in compensatory damages and $1 billion in punitive damages. As described in the story, the plaintiffs argued that Philip Morris should have switched to ultra-low nicotine versions of its cigarettes. Philip Morris argued that it tried to market those types of products, but consumers rejected them.
Philip Morris will undoubtedly challenge the award through posttrial motions and, if necessary, an appeal. Given the disparity between the compensatory damages and the punitive damages, the verdict is not likely to survive judicial review.