St. Louis Public Radio News
1:21 pm
Thu April 3, 2003

Committee Nixes Plan to Lower Appeal Bond for Tobacco

Springfield, IL – An Illinois Senate's Executive Committee has rejected a plan to excuse cigarette-maker Philip Morris from paying a 12 billion dollar bond before it appeals a court judgment.

Last month, Phillip Morris was ordered to pay the bond for tricking smokers into believing two of its "light" brand
cigarettes are less toxic than regular ones.

The company says it cannot come up with that much money and the measure would have made it eaIier for Philip Morris to get the
appeal bond lowered to 1.2 billion dollars.

Senate Democrat James Clayborne of East St. Louis argued that requiring the full amount could bankrupt the company and jeopardize its payments to Illinois under a settlement from a historic national tobacco lawsuit in 1999.

But Clayborne's bill was rejected 7-to-3.