The case pits smokers against tobacco giant Philip Morris. Damages could amount to $700 million, and anyone in Missouri who smoked Marlboro Light cigarettes will be eligible for thousands of dollars.
It’s taken 11 years for the case to get a jury. They’re deciding if Philip Morris should pay up for deceiving smokers.
The smokers who filed the suit say the company intentionally manipulated the design and content of Marlboro Gold ciagarettes to maximize nicotine delivery while falsely claiming lowered tar and nicotine.
Philip Morris attorneys argue even the health care industry believed light cigarette were the better option if you had to smoke.
The cigarettes are no longer for sale, but from 1996 to 2002, 700 million packs were sold in Missouri. The court estimates damages at $1 per pack, which could mean a $2,500 settlement for a pack-a-day smoker.
This is a class-action suit, which means anyone who smoked the brand could qualify.
Hardly anyone expects the case to end with the jury verdict. If it goes against Philip Morris, an appeal is almost certain.