Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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PHILIP MORRIS TO PAY REMAINDER OF PUNITIVE DAMAGE AWARD IN HISTORIC TOBACCO VERDICT

January 17, 2012

The Oregon Department of Justice Crime Victims' Compensation Fund will receive $56 million

Attorneys for Philip Morris today said the tobacco manufacturer will pay the remainder plus interest of a 1999 punitive damage award. As a result, the Oregon Department of Crime Victims' Compensation Fund will receive $56 million.

"This was a historic win for the Department of Justice and for Oregon," said Attorney General John Kroger.

A portion of the money will be needed to fund crime victims programs, but a majority of the money will be available to help the Legislature deal with the budget deficit.

Under Oregon law, 60 percent of punitive damage awards go to the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.

In 1999, a Multnomah County jury ordered Philip Morris to pay $79.5 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit brought by the family of a Portland cigarette smoker who died of cancer.

After more than a decade of appeals, the Oregon Supreme Court in December upheld Oregon's share of the award.      

Last Friday, the Oregon Supreme Court rejected a request by Philip Morris attorneys to reconsider their decision and today an attorney for the company said the tobacco manufacturer will pay.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Contact:

Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |
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