Korein Tillery to Appeal Light Cigarette Ruling

Share Article

Korein Tillery intends to appeal “undecided issues” in the landmark $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris for deceptively advertising “light” cigarettes and fraudulently manipulating Federal Trade Commission testing.

We’re confident that these rulings get us that much closer to the day when Philip Morris will finally be held accountable for the light cigarette lie.

The historic Price v. Philip Morris “light” cigarette fraud case is once again heading back to the Illinois appellate courts to determine the fate of a $10.1 billion verdict handed down in 2003. (Case No. 00-L-112, Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois) The original trial judge found that Philip Morris’ marketing of “light” and “lower tar and nicotine” cigarettes was deceptive, and that the company knew “light” cigarettes were not safer than regular cigarettes. On direct appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, Philip Morris argued that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had specifically authorized the use of these descriptors, so the plaintiffs could not recover under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. The Illinois Supreme Court agreed and reversed the trial court on that basis.

In 2008, the FTC directly contradicted Philip Morris’ factual argument in a similar case decided by the United States Supreme Court. (Altria v Good, No. 07-562) Consequently, the Fifth District Appellate Court revived the Price case and it ended up back in Madison County, where Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth today ruled that if the Illinois Supreme Court had been aware of the FTC’s true position, Philip Morris’s argument to the Illinois Supreme Court would have failed. But the court also found that there were some “undecided issues” which may or may not have resulted in a different outcome in the Illinois Supreme Court. Because plaintiffs had to establish a likelihood of a different outcome, the court denied their motion to reinstate the original verdict.

Stephen M. Tillery, senior partner at Korein Tillery, was the original trial lawyer and has handled the Price case throughout the lengthy and convoluted legal process. Citing today’s order, Tillery said: “We’re confident that these rulings get us that much closer to the day when Philip Morris will finally be held accountable for the light cigarette lie.” In addition to noting that, according to the FTC, Philip Morris had fraudulently manipulated the regulatory process, the Court sided with the plaintiffs on a number of other issues:

1)    Plaintiffs were diligent in their efforts to obtain evidence from the FTC during the trial;
2)    Plaintiffs followed the proper procedural steps for the court to have jurisdiction;
3)    Philip Morris concealed information from the FTC about how “light” cigarettes would yield falsely low tar levels on the FTC’s tests; and
4)    Philip Morris also concealed information from the FTC about how “light” cigarette smokers altered their smoking behavior.

About Korein Tillery

Korein Tillery is a an AV-rated, award-winning law firm with offices in St. Louis and Chicago that has recovered billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements in a variety of cases across the country involving pension funds, insurance, securities, antitrust, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, environmental contamination, tobacco, computer technology, and consumer fraud. The firm has gained a national reputation for aggressively and successfully pursuing a wide variety of complex cases on behalf of its clients. Korein Tillery was named by the National Law Journal to its “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 as one of the nation’s top plaintiffs’ law firms in all specialties. More information is available at http://www.koreintillery.com.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jerry Brown
Visit website