Boeken v. Philip Morris Inc.

Richard Boeken sued Philip Morris USA, Inc., alleging various theories including negligence, strict product liability and fraud resulting in personal injuries caused by his cigarette addiction. Boeken claims that he began smoking in 1957, when he was a minor; he smoked Marlboro and Marlboro Lights, both manufactured by Philip Morris; and he was ultimately diagnosed with lung cancer in 1999.  A jury found that Philip Morris products consumed by Boeken were defective, resulting in injuries to Boeken. The jury also found liability based upon fraud by intentional misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, false promise, and negligent misrepresentation, concluding that Boeken had justifiably relied upon fraudulent utterances and concealment by Philip Morris. The jury awarded $5,539,127 in compensatory damages and $3 billion in punitive damages. A Philip Morris motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict was denied.

Philip Morris’ motion for a new trial was conditionally granted solely on the issue of punitive damages unless Boeken accepted a reduction in punitive damages to the sum of $100 million, in which case the motion would be denied.  Boeken consented to the reduction. Philip Morris and Boeken each filed timely notices of appeal.  The Court further reduced punitive damages to the amount of $50 million. Philip Morris and Boeken each filed petitions for rehearing, which were granted. The Court affirmed the judgment and order reducing damages, if Boeken accepts the remittitur. If he does not, the Court affirms the order of the trial court granting a new trial to Philip Morris on the issue of punitive damages.


Boeken v. Philip Morris Inc., 26 Cal.Rptr.3d 638, 127 Cal.App.4th 1640, California Court of Appeal (2005).

  • United States
  • Mar 20, 2006
  • California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4


Plaintiff Richard Boeken

Defendant Philip Morris Inc.

Legislation Cited

Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969

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Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

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