In a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision by the 5th District, a multi-billion dollar verdict in a class-action lawsuit against cigarette maker Phillip Morris USA was reinstated despite having been previously thrown out by the Illinois Supreme Court. Phillip Morris USA immediately filed a petition to have the verdict reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court once again. The original verdict, for $10.1 billion, was entered in 2003 favor of the class-plaintiffs finding that the cigarette maker had broken Illinois State laws by misleading consumers about “light” and “low tar” labeling on cigarette packages. The lawsuit alleged that the use of those terms on the packaging and in marketing misled consumers to believe that these cigarettes were “safer” than others.
While normally, an Illinois Appellate Court has no authority to reopen an Illinois Supreme Court decision, unless there is new evidence brought to light. In this particular case, the U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled in favor of three Maine residents allowing their claims under state law to proceed. This new ruling by the nation’s top court, procedurally, allowed the 5th District to reopen and reinstate the verdict. There will, of course, be appeals, but for now, the Illinois law firm that obtained the verdict couldn’t be happier.
If you believe that you have been the victim of consumer fraud which has caused you or a loved one personal, and devastating injuries contact the lawyers at Strong Law Offices. Our experienced team of attorneys are here to assist you in the investigation and potential prosecution of your claims against drug manufacturers, medical device makers, and other big businesses who may have broken the law and caused serious injuries.