Iowa Public Television


Illinois Court Rejects "Light" Cigarette Case

posted on December 16, 2005

The Illinois Supreme Court this week threw out a $10 billion class-action lawsuit against Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA division , ruling the maker of Marlboro and other brands did not defraud customers of its marketing of "light" cigarettes.

The court reversed the verdict and sent the case back to Madison County court with instructions to dismiss the matter.

A divided state Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission specifically allowed companies to characterize their cigarettes as "light" and "low tar," so Philip Morris did not improperly mislead customers about the health impacts of its cigarettes.

The cigarette maker, which accounts for about half of the U.S. market, argued the case never should have been declared a class-action on behalf of some 1.1 million light cigarette smokers.

Tags: courts Illinois news smoking tobacco