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U.S. Supreme Court Takes Third Look at Judgment Against Cigarette Maker

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The U.S. Supreme Court will review a $79.5 million punitive judgment against Marlboro-maker Philip Morris for a third time, the Associated Press reported Monday.

On two previous occasions, the Supreme Court has struck down the award to the family of a Portland, Ore. man who died of lung cancer in 1997 after smoking Marlboro cigarettes since the 1950s.

But Oregon courts have repeatedly upheld the judgment against cigarette maker Philip Morris USA.

In its first decision, the Supreme Court rejected the $79.5 million judgment. In its second decision, the high court ruled that jurors may punish a defendant only for harm done to someone who is suing, not other smokers who could make similar claims.

In the upcoming review, scheduled to take place in the fall, the high court will consider whether the Oregon Supreme Court ignored the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling, but not whether the amount of the judgment is constitutionally permissible, the AP reported.

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