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Philip Morris USA, other tobacco companies win favorable verdict

Friday, April 29, 2011 | 1:40 p.m. CDT; updated 6:23 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 30, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. — Philip Morris USA and other major tobacco companies won a favorable verdict Friday in a lawsuit filed by 37 Missouri hospitals seeking more than $455 million for treating sick smokers.

Philip Morris USA was one of six tobacco companies involved in the lawsuit.

The hospitals had claimed cigarette companies delivered an "unreasonably dangerous" product and were seeking reimbursement back to 1993 for treating patients who had no insurance and did not pay their bills.

"The jury agreed with Philip Morris USA that ordinary cigarettes are not negligently designed or defective," Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services Inc. senior vice president and associate general counsel, said in a statement.

Other details of the verdict handed down by the St. Louis jury weren't immediately available.

Philip Morris USA is owned by Altria Group Inc.


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