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Smoker who won big in tobacco suit dies

SHARE Smoker who won big in tobacco suit dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lung cancer has claimed the life of a longtime smoker whose $100 million award was the largest judgment ever in a case brought by an individual against a tobacco company.

Richard Boeken, 57, died at his home Wednesday, according to Paula Lawlor, who works for Boeken's attorney, Michael J. Piuze.

Boeken won a staggering $3 billion damage award in June against Philip Morris. The jury award was upheld by a Superior Court judge later that month, but reduced to $100 million.

"What his verdict represented was that the news for the tobacco industry in general and Philip Morris in particular is bad," Piuze said.

Philip Morris is appealing the reduced award, which it has called "grossly excessive."