Altria Wins Stay of Punitive Damages in Class-Action Suit

Albanese, Elizabeth
April 2003
Bond Buyer;4/9/2003, Vol. 344 Issue 31611, p7
Trade Publication
Judges in two counties in Texas made favorable statements regarding a $10.1 billion judgment against Philip Morris USA Inc. as of April 8, 2003. The company complains that the case � and a $12 billion bond the company would have to pay to appeal the judgment � could force them into bankruptcy. Philip Morris, which is owned by Altria Group Inc., said if it had to make such a payment it would have to miss an April 15 payment mandated by the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement worth $2.6 billion to 46 states. Attorneys general from 37 states filed an amicus brief with the Madison County Circuit Court in Illinois asking the court to set an appeal bond that would allow Philip Morris to meet its obligations to the states. Madison County Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Byron, who awarded the judgment in a lawsuit brought by smokers who accused the company of fraudulently advertising their Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights cigarettes to dupe smokers into believing they are healthier than regular cigarettes, said in a hearing that the company might be offered alternatives to paying the $12 billion appeal bond he ordered at the time of the judgment.


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