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Tobacco Lawsuits Allowed to Be Class Action

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A St. Louis judge on Monday said two civil cases against tobacco companies can proceed as class-action lawsuits.

That opens the door for thousands of Missourians to join the litigation.

The suits are similar to a case in Illinois, which accuse the companies of misrepresenting light cigarettes as safer than regular ones. Specifically, they accuse tobacco companies of misrepresenting the amount of tar and nicotine contained in certain brands of light cigarettes.

Judge Michael David says Missourians who smoke such brands may now join in class action suits. A lawyer in the case says many thousands of Missourians could qualify as plaintiffs.

One of the companies, Philip Morris USA, said it is considering an appeal.

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