Monday, November 27, 2006
Today, in a victory for big tobacco, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Price v. Philip Morris USA. In Price, plaintiffs filed a statewide class action in Madison County, Illinois, accusing Philip Morris of misleading smokers about the risks of light cigarettes. The plaintiffs won a $10.1 billion (yes, billion) judgment in 2003. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, holding that the FTC had permitted tobacco companies to market cigarettes as "light" and therefore the practice did not violate the state's Consumer Fraud Act. With today's cert denial, the case comes to an end, and Philip Morris can recover the $6 billion for the bond it posted to secure the judgment pending appeal. Here's a report by James Vicini (Reuters) -- US high court won't review Illinois tobacco case.