RICHMOND, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After deliberating for less than an hour, a St. Louis jury today returned a verdict for Philip Morris USA (PM USA) in a Missouri class-action “Lights” cigarette trial. In so doing, the jury rejected plaintiffs’ request for as much as $1.8 billion in compensatory damages plus punitive damages.
“The jury correctly rejected plaintiffs’ allegations of misrepresentation and damages,” said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of PM USA. “Over the years, we have been very successful in defending these cases on a variety of legal grounds.”
The case was filed in 2000. Plaintiffs alleged that PM USA violated the state’s Merchandising Practices Act in marketing Marlboro Lights. Class members include Missouri residents who purchased Marlboro Lights from 1995-2003.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the use of “Lights” and other descriptors unless a manufacturer receives authorization to use the terms. The FDA began regulating tobacco products in 2009 with the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
This case is Larsen v. Philip Morris USA, case number 002-00406-02.
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