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US requests $14 billion in penalties in tobacco trial

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] has formally asked a federal judge to impose $14 billion in penalties on cigarette companies in a massive racketeering trial. The request made late Monday elaborates on smoking cessation proposals made earlier this month during the trial's closing arguments. The proposed program of $14 billion, slightly more than the $10 billion requested earlier in the month, is still only about one-tenth the original $130 billion sought by the government, a drop criticized by Democrats and anti-smoking groups [JURIST report] but later defended by the Department of Justice [JURIST report]. Defendant Altria Group, parent company of Philip Morris, said the proposal will not meet the standards of the civil racketeering law. The DOJ has documents and background material on the tobacco litigation. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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