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Brief of Neil Vidmar, et al. Amici Curiae in support of Respondent, Phillip Morris, USA v. Williams, No. 15-1256 (U.S. Supreme Court, September 15, 2006) In Williams v. Philip Morris (1999) an Oregon jury awarded the plaintiff $800,000 in compensatory damages and $79.5 million in punitive damages, a verdict upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court, but appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court (oral argument set for Oct 31, 2006). Critics of punitive damages argue that (a) juries are incompetent, irrational or biased in awarding punitive damages and (b) judges and appellate courts fail to police excessive verdicts. This amicus brief on behalf of Respondent Williams, endorsed by twenty-four scholars, reviews empirical research on punitive damages extending over the past four decades. The brief concludes that the claims about errant, incompetent juries and passive judges are not supported by the research evidence.

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