Tobacco Company Wins Lawsuit

It sounds like the modern-day equivalent of “Man Bites Dog” -- an occurrence remarkable for its rarity.

Last week a St. Louis jury rejected a request for about $1.8 billion in damages against Philip Morris USA in a class-action lawsuit that claimed the company misled smokers about the health risks of "light" cigarettes. Filed on behalf of 2,000 plaintiffs, the suit alleged that the company’s Altria Group Inc. unit violated Missouri's Merchandising Practices Act in marketing Marlboro Lights.

Naturally, a spokesperson for the tobacco company expressed satisfaction with the jury’s decision. It was unexpected for many, since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the use of "lights" and certain other descriptions unless the manufacturer receives permission to use them.

And it seems Philip Morris may be on a bit of a winning streak.

In November, the Illinois Supreme Court also threw out a $10.1 billion verdict against the company in a long-running lawsuit accusing the tobacco manufacturer of misleading smokers about those same (need we say alleged?) health risks of "light" cigarettes.

Sourced from: Reuters, Philip Morris wins Missouri 'lights' class action trial