March 14, 2008

Plaintiff Files Petition for Review in Bullock v. Philip Morris

The plaintiff in Bullock v. Philip Morris has filed a petition for review in the California Supreme Court. (We previously blogged about the petition for review filed by Philip Morris.) The plaintiff's petition raises three issues:

1. "Is a punitive damages defendant entitled by federal due process to demand that: (a) the jury be instructed "not to impose punishment" based on the harm the defendant has inflicted on non-plaintiffs; while (b) keeping from the jury the well-accepted principle that in setting punitive damages it may consider the harm imposed by the defendant on non-parties in its evaluation of the reprehensibility of its misconduct toward the plaintiff."

2. "Assuming federal due process does not entitle a defendant to such a one-sided, incomplete instruction, following an adverse verdict may a defendant a defendant nonetheless assert prejudicial error based on the failure of the plaintiff and/or the trial court to supply assistance in rewording the flawed instruction into a correct statement of federal due process law?"

3. "If a jury's punitive damages verdict was reached based on instructions which contain a federal due process flaw, rather than simply ordering a retrial of the amount of punitive damages, which could consume two months of court time, is a review court required to consider whether a remittitur of the jury's verdict is an appropriate and more efficient means of remedying any federal due process issue regarding the jury instructions?"

We will update this post with a link to the petition.

UPDATE: Here's the link to the petition.