Phillip Morris Pays Millions To Smoker's Daughter Jodie Bullock
Jodie Bullock, daugter of longtime smoker Betty Bullock who died of lung cancer in 2003, has been awarded $13.9 million in damages by the cigarette company Phillip Morris. The recommendation was made on Monday, in the third trial between Bullock and Phillip Morris.
Jodie Bullock first sued tobacco company Phillip Morris in 2001, and was awarded $750,000 in damages plus $100,000 in pain and suffering. In 2002, a jury recommended that Phillip Morris pay $28 billion in damages - a sum that was later reduced to $28 million. This decision was overturned in 2008, and a new trial was scheduled.
Jodie Bullock's mother Betty Bullock started smoking Marlboros when she was 17, and later switched to Benson & Hedges - both Phillip Morris products. Phillip Morris has not yet decided whether to appeal the decision, but stated that any amount given to Jodie Bullock is unwarranted, as Betty Bullock should have been aware of the risks of smoking.
Plaintiff's attorney Michael Piuze said the jury's verdict amounted to a "slap on the wrist for Philip Morris."
"I liked it better when it was $28 billion," said Piuze, who represented Betty Bullock after she filed the lawsuit. "She wanted me to beat the crap out of Philip Morris, and we did it once."