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Illinois court throws out $10.1 billion tobacco judgment

[JURIST] The Illinois Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday reversed [opinion text] 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. The state high court ordered the lower court to dismiss the case, holding that the 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. The case was heard on direct appeals from the trial court, bypassing the intermediate appellate court. Altria, Philip Morris' parent company, provides a summary of the case and a list of legal filings. Reuters has more.

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