Court bows out of tobacco punies case; rules on peremptory challenges and Hawaii land sale

usscpoolToday the U.S. Supreme Court took a pass on ruling in a case that was before it for the third time. In Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Williams, the Court announced without comment that it was dismissing the case as improvidently granted.

In its third attempt to have an $80 million punitive damages award dismissed, Philip Morris had argued that the jury was erroneously told by a plaintiff’s lawyer to punish the tobacco company not only for the injury suffered by the plaintiff’s husband, who died of lung cancer, but also for the harm suffered by innumerable smokers. More here from Lawyers USA.

The Court also ruled that an erroneous denial of a peremptory juror challenge does not warrant an automatic conviction reversal as long as the jury members are qualified and unbiased. More on that decision, in Rivera v. Illinois, here from Lawyers USA.

In its third ruling that Court cleared the way for the sale of Hawaii land conveyed to the state when it joined the union. More on that case, Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Here from ABA Journal.


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