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Illinois high court refuses to reconsider decision tossing $10.1B tobacco judgment

[JURIST] The Illinois Supreme Court [official website] said Friday that it would not reconsider its decision [text; JURIST report] ruling invalid a $10.1 billion judgment against Philip Morris USA [corporate website] in a case where the tobacco company had been found liable for defrauding customers into believing that light cigarettes were safer than regular ones. In December, the state high court ordered the trial court to dismiss the case, holding that US Federal Trade Commission [official website] regulations gave tobacco companies authority to denominate products as "light" or "low tar and nicotine" and that under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, companies cannot be held liable for behavior that has been specifically permitted by a regulatory body.

In its order Friday, the court did not elaborate on its decision to deny the plaintiffs' request for reconsideration, but two justices dissented, saying that the court had overlooked or misunderstood several of the plaintiffs' key points. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said an appeal to the US Supreme Court is planned [Reuters report]. 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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