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IL Sup. Ct. to Hear 'Light Cigarette' Appeal in November

By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill – The Illinois Supreme Court says oral arguments in the lawsuit over Philip Morris USA's marketing of "light" cigarettes will be held on November 10.

High court justices last year agreed to hear Philip Morris' appeal themselves, allowing it to skip the appellate court level.

A Madison County judge ruled in 2003 that Philip Morris defrauded consumers by suggesting Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights were less dangerous than regular cigarettes.

He ordered the company to pay $7.1 billion in compensatory damages and $3 three billion in punitive damages.

Philip Morris argues the damages were arbitrary and excessive.

The class-action lawsuit on behalf of 1 million Illinois smokers was the first consumer-fraud trial in the nation to focus on light cigarettes.

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