PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that the tobacco company Philip Morris must pay the state 60 percent of a $79.5 million award in a 14-year-old lawsuit over the claims of the family of a Portland smoker.
The company has already paid the family its part of the award but contested the state’s share.
Under Oregon law, 60 percent of punitive damage awards goes to a state fund to compensate crime victims.
Philip Morris argued that Oregon gave up its right to such a payment in a 1998 agreement with tobacco companies and 45 other states over health and smoking issues.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday said, however, the state’s share of punitive damages is due no matter what sort of lawsuit led to the award.