St. Louis Public Radio News
12:04 pm
Tue June 24, 2003

Philip Morris Asks for Speedier Appeal

Mount Vernon, Ill. – Philip Morris on Monday asked an appellate court to speed up its appeal of a $10.1 billion dollar verdict over light cigarettes.

In March, a Madison County judge ordered Philip Morris to pay Illinois smokers for tricking them into believing light cigarettes are less harmful than regular brands.

Philip Morris says it never made that claim and argues that the lawsuit never should have been allowed to proceed because no two people smoke cigarettes in the same way.

The nation's largest cigarette maker asked the Fifth District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon, Ill. to extend an August deadline for filing its appeal to September 19th, then to approve a four-month schedule for both sides to submit briefs in the case. The company also asked the court to grant no extensions during the appeal.