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Supreme Court grants stay in tobacco suit

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court Wednesday allowed tobacco company Philip Morris USA to delay paying a $10.5 million judgment to a former smoker. In September, the California Supreme Court refused to reduce the award, despite Philip Morris' arguments that the amount was excessive. The company is now appealing to the US Supreme Court. The plaintiff, who now will not collect any money until after the appeal is decided, had smoked for 35 years, and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997. Wednesday's order indicated that all nine justices participated, including Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who was hospitalized last weekend with thyroid cancer. AP has more. The case is Philip Morris USA v. Henley.

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