Photo of Richard Boeken

Richard Boeken

Richard Boeken
v  Philip Morris

Los Angeles
The Honorable Charles McCoy presiding

Filed 2001

Verdict for the Plaintiff

Boeken’s widow, Judy, won the largest damages awarded to an individual smoker at that time.

Plaintiff attorney: Michael Piuze
Defendant attorney: Frank Kelly III


  • 2001 – June 6: Trial jury awards $5,539,127 compensation and $3 billion punitive damages
  • 2001 – Trial judge cuts punitive award to $100 million
  • 2003 – CA appeals court cuts award to $50 million
  • 2006 – March 20: US Supreme Court upholds award
  • 2011 – August 9: Dylan Boeken awarded $12.8 million for loss of father’s “love, affection, guidance and training”


Boeken died at the age of 57 in 2002. He is among a handful of Californians who have won damages under a 1998 law allowing individuals to sue tobacco companies for misleading or fraudulent claims in marketing a dangerous product. Previously, the tobacco industry had been protected from such lawsuits by the infamous Napkin Deal.
The jury originally awarded $3 billion in punitive damages, but that amount was reduced, first by the trial judge and then by an appellate court. Philip Morris still appealed the amount of the award, but the Supreme Court rejected the appeal without comment.
In 2011, Boeken’s son, now a college student, sued Philip Morris for “loss of his father’s love, affection, guidance and training.” He won a $12.8 million jury award.