Case Detail

Price v. Philip Morris, Inc.
On December 15, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned a $10.1 billion award against Philip Morris, Inc., on the ground that the conduct complained of by the plaintiffs, the labeling of some cigarette brands as "light" or "low tar," was authorized by the Federal Trade Commission. WLF had filed a brief on December 10, 2003, on behalf of itself and the Illinois Civil Justice League in the Illinois Supreme Court opposing the lawsuit. The trial judge had levied a $7.1 billion award for compensatory damages against the company based on claims that the company had fraudulently implied that its low-tar cigarettes are safer than ordinary cigarettes. The trial judge also awarded $3 billion in punitive damages. On appeal, the Illinois Supreme Court noted that Illinois law does not permit fraud claims based on conduct "specifically authorized" by federal regulators. The Court determined that the FTC had affirmatively permitted the use of the descriptions in question in two consent orders.
Case Status:
Victory. U.S. Supreme Court denied petition for review on November 27, 2006. Illinois Supreme Court denied petition to re-open judgment on January 11, 2016.
More Information and Downloads:
12/10/2003: Download the Brief

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