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Supreme Court lets stand Philip Morris 'light' cigarettes damages dismissal

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday declined to review an Illinois Supreme Court decision setting aside a $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris USA [corporate website] for its marketing of "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes. The court issued its order in Price v. Philip Morris Inc. [docket] without comment. Late last year, the Illinois court dismissed the case [JURIST report], holding that US Federal Trade Commission 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. Another case involving Philip Morris, challenging $80 million in punitive damages awarded in a wrongful death action against the company, was argued before the Supreme Court [JURIST reports] last month and remains pending. AP has more.

Among other cases in which the court denied certiorari Monday:

  • Bassiouni v. FBI [docket], in which DePaul University law professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni [academic profile; JURIST op-ed] sought to have his FBI file expunged. The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit court refused the request [opinion, PDF], finding the information in the file relevant to law enforcement activity. AP has more.

  • Anderson v. Durham School Department [docket], an appeal from the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine challenging a statute [text] forbidding receipt of public money by religious schools. AP has more.

  • McAllister v. Gonzales [docket], an appeal of a Third Circuit decision [PDF text] upholding a Board of Immigration Appeals decision allowing an asylum seeker to be removed from the United States because he was convicted of engaging in terrorist activities in Northern Ireland. AP has more.
Read the Court's full Order List [PDF text].

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