ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Customers who believe they were deceived by misrepresentations about Marlboro Light cigarettes by Philip Morris will take their case to trial again after a jury in St. Louis fell one vote short today of awarding damages to those customers in a class-action lawsuit filed Korein Tillery LLC.
The five-week trial ended in a mistrial in St. Louis Circuit Court when the jury announced it was deadlocked at eight jurors in favor of awarding damages to customers in Missouri and four jurors supporting the cigarette maker. Nine jurors must agree to return a civil verdict in Missouri. Deliberations last more than four days.
“Though it was deadlocked, this jury voted by a 2-1 margin to hold Philip Morris responsible for deceiving its customers by misrepresenting the dangers of its so-called ‘light’ or ‘low tar and nicotine’ cigarettes,” said lead plaintiffs’ attorney Stephen Swedlow of Korein Tillery. “This jury clearly agreed that Philip Morris had deceived its customers. We’ll try this case again and just work harder to convince a ninth juror to understand that this about Philip Morris’ decision to deceive customers to get them to buy a product that was no safer than regular cigarettes.”
Swedlow argued that the evidence proved that the cigarettes Philip Morris had misrepresented as “light” and as having “lowered tar and nicotine” were actually made with the same tobacco as regular cigarettes and that the company knew that smokers would receive the same amount of tar and nicotine as they would from regular Marlboros. Swedlow estimated financial damages to customers at approximately $700 million.
Korein Tillery is set to return to the trial court next month in the case of Price v. Philip Morris, the landmark lawsuit where a $10.1 billion judgment resulted against Philip Morris in Madison County, Illinois, Circuit Court in 2003. The Illinois Supreme Court recently refused to hear an appeal by Philip Morris of an Appellate Court decision returning the suit to Madison County for additional factual hearings. Korein Tillery is arguing that the original verdict should be reinstated because a subsequent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in a similar case from Maine eliminates the grounds on which the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment in 2005.
Korein Tillery was named earlier this month to the elite Plaintiffs’ Hot List by the National Law Journal, the fifth such honor for the firm since the list began in 2003.
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 is the only Midwest-based firm named by the National Law Journal to its “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” in 2011, and has previously made the list in 2008, 2007, 2004, and 2003 as one of the nation’s top plaintiffs' law firms in all specialties. More information is available at www.koreintillery.com.