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Philip Morris Wins Appeal Over $10.1 Billion Verdict In Light Cigarettes Case ($$) 

Jump to full article: The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, 2005-12-15
Author: A WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE NEWS ROUNDUP

Intro:

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

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 didn't improperly mislead customers about the health impacts of its cigarettes. The court reversed the verdict and sent the case back to Madison County court with instruction to dismiss the matter.

Altria Group shares climbed $4.67, or 6.3%, to $78.40 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. . . . .

Two of the court's seven justices filed written dissents.

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