Ill. judge rejects bid to revive cigarette lawsuit
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — An Illinois judge has refused to reopen a class-action lawsuit that produced a $10.1 billion verdict against cigarette-maker Philip Morris, handing the plaintiffs their latest setback in legal action now more than a decade old.
It was not immediately clear Thursday whether Stephen Tillery, the St. Louis attorney who pursued the lawsuit involving so-called "light" and "low tar" cigarettes, would appeal Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth's ruling. Messages left with Tillery's office were not returned.
A now-retired Madison County judge found in 2003 that Philip Morris misled customers about "light" and "low tar" cigarettes and broke Illinois law by marketing them as safer. His decision ended a two-month trial that both sides said at the time was the nation's first involving a lawsuit accusing a tobacco company of consumer fraud.
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