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New Lawsuit Filed Against Philip Morris

May 6, 2003 | AP

Another lawsuit has been filed in Madison County accusing Philip Morris USA of misleading smokers into believing that light-brand cigarettes are safer than full-flavored brands.

The lawsuit was filed Friday, six weeks after the New York-based company lost a record $10.1 billion verdict for deceiving Illinois consumers of Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights. That verdict is under appeal.

The new lawsuit seeks class-action status and covers more than 20 Philip Morris brands, including Marlboro Medium, Benson & Hedges Lights, Virginia Slims Lights and Parliament Lights.

John Mulderig, an attorney for Altria Group Inc., parent company of Philip Morris, called the new lawsuit "a carbon copy" of the first one.

He said the only difference between the two lawsuits is the cigarette brands named.

"This is why the plaintiff class-action bar in Madison County finds that word processing is their favorite activity," he said.

On March 21, a judge ordered Philip Morris to pay $10.1 billion after finding that Philip Morris committed consumer fraud in marketing its Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights cigarettes as less harmful than regular brands.

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